Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of music practice instruction on middle school band and orchestra students’ practice behaviors. Participants received 4 weeks of practice strategy instruction. Prior to, and following the intervention, self-reported practice strategy lists (N = 136) and video of individual practice sessions (n = 35) data were collected from 7th- and 8th-grade band and orchestra students. Self-reported data were coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics. More than 23 hours of video data (participants’ independent practice sessions) were analyzed using a practice frames evaluation scheme. Video data were further analyzed using an observational measure of self-regulation. Analyses revealed that participants identified and employed significantly more practice strategies following the intervention. Although repetition was the most commonly observed practice strategy overall, posttest practice sessions included more strategic forms of repetition (e.g., repetition of shorter sections and whole-part-whole repetition). Video analysis further revealed that following practice strategy instruction, participants exhibited significantly fewer and longer practice frames as well as more varied practice objectives. Weak relationships emerged between participants’ practice behaviors and their overall degree of self-regulation. Implications for classroom practice and future research are discussed.

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