Mental practice of musically gifted adolescents

  • Stella Kaczmarek The Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Lodz, Poland
Keywords: mental practice; adolescents; musical giftedness; practice strategies


In the last decade, the growing interest in the subject of musicians’ mental practice has produced a significant increase in research on mental and instrumental practice. More than half of all the studies concerns professional musicians, and relatively little research is conducted on children or adolescents. The article will describe research on the mental practice of teenagers attending music schools in Poland and Germany. Questionnaire surveys answer the question of whether young people use mental practice, how they do it, and what the content of mental training while practicing an instrument is. The analysis suggests that gifted adolescents from both countries (1) do not use mental rehearsal very often and (2) use mental practice strategies in a similar way. What they differ in is the frequency of using mental practice as an integral part of their instrumental learning, using musical-analytical strategy, and the quality of mental practice. The study indicates the need to teach mental practice and its importance in increasing the effectiveness of instrumental practice.


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