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Article
When Repetition Isn't the Best Practice Strategy: Effects of Blocked and Random Practice Schedules
Journal of Research in Music Education
  • Laura A. Stambaugh, Georgia Southern University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2011
DOI
10.1177/0022429410385945
Disciplines
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of blocked and random practice schedules on the performance accuracy, speed, temporal evenness, and attitude of beginning band students in a group instructional setting. The research assumptions were based on the contextual interference hypothesis, which predicts that a blocked practice order (low contextual interference) leads to superior performance immediately following practice but that a random practice order (high contextual interference) supports superior performance at delayed retention testing. Beginning clarinet students (N = 41) completed three practice sessions and one retention testing session, performing three seven-pitch exercises. At the end of practice, no significant differences were found between blocked and random practice groups for accuracy, speed, or temporal evenness. At retention, the random group performed significantly faster than the blocked group, F(1, 38) = 24.953, p < .001, η2 = .92, and the blocked group performed significantly slower than it did at the end of practice (p < .001). No significant differences were found between groups for transfer tasks or for attitude toward practice.
Citation Information
Laura A. Stambaugh. "When Repetition Isn't the Best Practice Strategy: Effects of Blocked and Random Practice Schedules" Journal of Research in Music Education Vol. 58 Iss. 4 (2011) p. 368 - 383
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/laura_stambaugh/27/