Routes to adolescent musical expertise

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... The "10,000 hours" rule (Ericsson, 2006) has been criticized for its relatively simplistic explanation of music expertise and the development of prodigies (Hambrick, Oswald, Altmann, Meinz, Gobet, & Campitelli, 2014; see also Mosing and Ullén, this volume), and current theories and studies suggest that a complex set of factors contribute to the development of such extraordinary skills at a young age (Baker & Cote, 2003;Campitelli & Gobet, 2011;Heller, Perleth, & Lim, 2005;Ivaldi, 2011;Moore, Burland, & Davidson, 2003). Current theories and investigations such as those of Gagné and McPherson (this volume, Chapter 1) propose a more holistic approach, and suggest that our understanding of expertise will be enhanced when we identify the many factors that influence its acquisition and development. ...
Music is intimately connected with the experience of rhythmic movement. This unique relation between music and movement depends on a complex set of timing skills that are developed throughout childhood. However, extraordinary cases of rhythmic prodigies seem to challenge our understanding of the normal course of motor development. This chapter examines the existing literature on timing skills in order to identify some milestones in the development of timing skills that are essential for the production of accurate rhythmic movements. We consider the importance of formal music training and weekly practice for the development of timing skills involved in discrete and continuous rhythmic movements, and we describe a preliminary study in which we compare the timing skills of a prodigy musician with those of age-matched musicians and nonmusicians.
... Studies of musicians' careers provide insights into individual pathways and factors that may facilitate the transition from student to professional level (for overviews, see Bennett, 2008;Gembris, 2006;Ivaldi, 2011). Manturzewska (1990) was among the first who systematically investigated the career paths of 165 professional musicians. ...
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There is an increasing awareness of the importance of reflexivity across various disciplines, which encourages researchers to scrutinize their research perspectives. In order to contextualize and reflect upon research in music, this study explores the musical background, current level of musical engagement and the listening habits of music researchers. A total of 103 respondents of 17 different nationalities, working in music psychology, music science and related areas at various academic levels (e. g., doctoral students, professors and independent researchers), completed an internet survey. Questions addressed four major areas: (1) detailed demographic information and research interests; (2) musical training; (3) current musical activities (e. g., composing, conducting, improvising, listening, performing); (4) musical preferences and listening habits. Findings indicate that nearly all respondents to the survey had studied one or more musical instrument(s), and around 90% still enjoy performing music to some extent. A relatively high number of researchers had composed or improvised music, thus engaging in particularly creative musical activities. Respondents show stronger preferences for classical music and jazz/blues/RnB as compared with other musical genres. Contrary to notions of expert listening, emotional listening styles were rated as more important than analytical listening. Strong relationships between respondents' musical practice and research were found, leading to the conclusion that music research is a highly practice-informed field.
Previous research into adolescents' musical role models has shown that young people are more likely to identify a celebrity figure due to their image and perceived fame, than because of their musical ability. The current research is a development of Ivaldi and O'Neill's (Adolescents' musical role models: Whom do they admire and why?) study by exploring the role models of young dedicated musicians to see who they admire and why. One hundred and seventeen adolescents, aged 13–19, took part in a questionnaire study, drawn from both conservatoire (n=60) and county service (n=57) environments. Both famous and non-famous figures were identified, with the reasons relating to image, higher achievement and dedication. Adolescents' beliefs and values for music were also explored in relation to their attainability and aspiration beliefs for becoming like their role model. The differences between the two studies are discussed in general, and the current picture of adolescents' musical role models is presented.
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