Titel: Preparing to perform: Focus of Attention and Slow Practice in the Preparation for Instrumental Music Performance
Sprache: Englisch
Autor*in: Allingham, Emma
Schlagwörter: performance science; focus of attention; music practice; motor performance; slow practice
Erscheinungsdatum: 2022
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 2022-07-07
Zusammenfassung: 
Musicians dedicate vast amounts of time to cultivating their skills and preparing for performance. Yet, there is much to be learned about the psychological mechanisms of optimal processes of preparation for musical performance. This dissertation aimed to address these gaps in knowledge. To this end, two aspects of performance preparation were investigated. First, the effects of a psychological approach to performance during the preparatory moments before action execution were examined through two experimental studies of attentional-focus effects on motor-skill performance in violin bowing. Second, the processes of longer-term preparation for performance through music practice were studied through quantitative and qualitative analysis of an online questionnaire exploring reported use of slowness and tempo management in instrumental music practice. Results from analyses of attentional focus effects suggest that violin bow-control skills are improved when performers focus on tactile feedback through the bow compared to focussing on arm movement. This supports previous findings in non-musical contexts that a focus on internal body movement tends to impair motor performance relative to a focus on external action outcomes. Evidence for these effects on physical and physiological aspects of sound production were also shown, and it was further found that expertise may sometimes modulate these effects. Quantitative analysis of slow practice questionnaire data found that slow practice was extremely common among instrumental musicians, and use of slow practice tended to be positively associated with musical self-regulated learning, but not with expertise. Results further suggested that performers may use slow practice to achieve both technical and expressive goals in learning, and that musical performance genre may influence how slow practice is used across the learning trajectory. Furthermore, qualitative findings about slow-practice use presented potential cognitive functions that slow practice may encompass, such as supporting motor learning, regulating the learner's state and supporting deep learning through creative and critical problem solving. These functions are suggested to operate through management of cognitive load, self-regulatory processes, and possibly, facilitation of flow states. Taken together, these findings provide novel insight into processes of musical-skill acquisition and performance preparation that may inform theoretical understandings of music learning, as well as approaches to music performance practice and pedagogy.
URL: https://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/handle/ediss/9763
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-ediss-102548
Dokumenttyp: Dissertation
Betreuer*in: Wöllner, Clemens
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:Elektronische Dissertationen und Habilitationen

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