Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The purposes of this study were: 1) To assess the effects of practice strategies, metronome, meter, hand, and musical function on piano performance accuracy of undergraduate music majors enrolled in piano class (N=39), and 2) To assess the effects of practice strategies on practice time relative to two unfamiliar pieces of keyboard music. Throughout an eight-week training session, treatment subjects were provided strategies for practicing unfamiliar pieces of keyboard music and were allowed time in class to apply the strategies while practicing. Strategies included score analysis, isolating hand position shifts, practicing unfamiliar chords, practicing measures with accidentals, and using the metronome to provide a slow practice tempo. Control subjects practiced the same pieces but were not taught the strategies. Pretests and posttests were conducted. Subjects were randomly assigned one piece with right hand melody and one piece with left hand melody. Half of treatment and half of control subjects were selected randomly to perform pretest and posttest pieces with the metronome set to 60 beats per minute. Following each 8-minute practice session, subjects performed each selection. Analyses of pretest and posttest performance data revealed main effects of test (posttest scores were higher than pretest scores with regard to pitch, rhythm, and beat), function (melody scores were better than accompaniment scores with regard to pitch), and meter (scores on the piece in 2/4 were higher than scores on the piece in 3/4 with regard to rhythm and beat consistency). Significant interactions among group and metronome; test, meter, and group; and meter and metronome were detected. No significant differences in pitch, rhythm, or beat consistency accuracy between groups due to the practice strategies were detected. Analysis of posttest practice sessions revealed that subjects spent the majority of their practice time performing the given selections at the piano, and the least amount of practice time analyzing the scores. Treatment subjects used score analysis techniques presented during treatment, but their practice did not reflect the strategies listed on their scores. Subjects in both groups devoted most of the performance aspect of their practice sessions to practicing both hands together.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Jane W. Cassidy



Included in

Music Commons