Musical and Athletic Motor Learning and Performance
Edited By Adina Mornell
Beating Time: The Role of Kinaesthetic Learning in the Development of Mental Representations for Music (Jane Ginsborg)
Beating Time: The Role of Kinaesthetic Learning in the Development of Mental Representations for Music Background: musicians’ mental representations When musicians perform from memory, they draw on mental representa- tions that can take a variety of forms: visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and/ or analytic. These enable musicians to give performances that are both stable, insofar as repeated renditions of the same work can be said to be the same, and ﬂexible, insofar as performers are capable of respond- ing to changing demands, for example in the context of accompaniment (Lehmann & Ericsson, 1995). In a detailed study of a pianist preparing to perform Bach’s Italian Concerto over the course of 33 hours practice, Chafﬁn, Imreh and Crawford (2002) showed how mental representations are formed. Mental representations are for a speciﬁc piece of music; the same pianist had very different representations for the Italian Concerto and Debussy’s Clair de Lune (Chafﬁn, 2005). However it is clear from the ﬁndings of several longitudinal case studies that the nature of a musi- cian’s mental representations is also determined by the way he or she practices and rehearses. Perfomers studied in this way to date include a jazz pianist (Noice, Chafﬁn, Noice, Jeffrey, & Pelletier, 2004) and a cellist (Lisboa, Chafﬁn, Schiarella, & Barrera, 2004; Logan, Begosh, Chafﬁn, & Lisboa, 2007), as well as the singer whose practice, rehearsal and recall forms the basis of the research outlined in this chapter. While a great deal of research into the cognitive processes underlying musicians’...
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