Date of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Music



Committee Chair

Daniel Hellman


The purpose of this study was to observe and compare the differences in practice behaviors among middle school band students who are presented with etudes of varying stylistic, technical, or expressive qualities. Existing literature has covered practice methodology extensively, but this study was intended to help understand how students vary strategies when presented with different musical challenges. Participants were individually observed in a pre-test, practice period, and post-test for each of two musical examples to examine the strategies used and improvement from pre-test to post-test. Results showed that participants who varied their strategy-use in lyrical and technical etudes increased performance achievement from pre-test to post-test more than those who did not, suggesting that musical context is an important component for effective practice. Implications arising from the study include the teaching of explicit practice strategies, error detection, and musical context during regular ensemble rehearsal time as strategies for improving the effectiveness of individual practice time.


practice, strategy, improvement, content, musical context

Subject Categories

Music Education | Music Practice


© Molly N. Batchelor

Open Access