Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Music Education and Music Therapy (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Edward P. Asmus

Second Committee Member

Don D. Coffman

Third Committee Member

Stephen F. Zdzinski

Fourth Committee Member

Margaret A. Donaghue

Fifth Committee Member

Heather A. Henderson


Musicians invest an extensive amount of time practicing their instruments to acquire and refine their skills as performers. They practice to enable complex physical, cognitive, and musical skills to be performed fluently with relatively little conscious control, freeing cognitive processing capacity for higher order processing (e.g., interpretation, communication, integration). A need exists for the development of theories for deliberate practice that can then be empirically tested. This study is designed to meet that need. Through examining previous theoretical models related to practice and the extant research on practice-relevant variables a latent variable model was specified. The sample (N = 191) consisted of high school band students. As a result of the exploratory factor analysis the model was respecified using the resulting 5 factors. A path analysis was conducted to test the new model. There was evidence that the observed data fit the hypothesized model. Results indicate that the strongest predictors of practice commitment were “orientations to practice” and “related to self.” The factor “orientation to practice” contains items pertaining to task usefulness/difficulty, the ability to get help and have resources available to aid in practicing, and a view that achievement is related to effort in contrast to ability or natural talent. Items related to self-efficacy and self-reflection/metacognition measure “related to self.” A recommendation for further study is enclosed.


Deliberate Practice; Music Education; Self-Regulation; Metacognition, Practice Commitment