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December 2021

Conceptual and motor learning in music performance

Author(s): Meyer, R. K.

Journal/Book: Psychol Sci. 2000; 11: 350 Main Street, Ste 6, Malden, MA 02148, USA. Blackwell Publishers. 63-68.

Abstract: Are the mental plans for action abstract or specified in terms of the movements with which they are produced? We report motor independence for expert music performance but not for novice performance in a transfer-of-learning task. Skilled adult pianists practiced musical pieces and transferred to new pieces with the same or different motor (hand and finger) requirements and conceptual (melodic) relations. Greatest transfer in sequence duration was observed when the same conceptual relations were retained from training to transfer, regardless of motor movements. In a second experiment, novice child pianists performed the same task. More experienced child pianists showed transfer on both the motor and the conceptual dimensions; the least experienced child pianists demonstrated transfer only to sequences with identical motor and conceptual dimensions. These findings suggest that mental plans for action become independent of the required movements only at advanced skill levels.

Note: Article Palmer C, Ohio State Univ, Dept Psychol, 1885 Neil Ave, Columbus,OH 43210 USA

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