Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

Winter 4-11-2022




Dr. Jessica Grahn

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Kinghorn


The purpose of this study was to assess if blocked or interleaved practice learning was more effective for memorizing music, and to assess if metacognitive judgements aligned with performance. The study included 21 proficient pianists who regularly engage in piano practice. Participants learnt two excerpts and two technical studies, and played them from memory on both day 1 and day 2 of testing. Performances were recorded and rated by an expert in the field on a percentage scale. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA analysis revealed no significant main effect of day on practice schedule, (F(1,20) = .15, p = 0.70, ηp2 = .01), or schedule on day, (F(1,20) = 1.03, p = .32, ηp2 = .05), with no significant interaction between the two variables (F(1,20) = 3.20, p = .77). Results revealed that metacognitive judgements did not align with performance. Although results were not significant, overall performance under the interleaved condition was slightly better than the blocked condition, indicating that there may be some benefits to interleaved practice. This warrants further research on how the contextual interference effect impacts memorization amongst pianists.