UBC Theses and Dissertations
The effects of music playing on cognitive task performance Chang, Sabrina
Numerous music cognition studies have demonstrated the cognitive benefits of both long-term and short-term musical training. Whereas a great number of these studies deal with the short-term benefits for the music listener or the longer term benefits for the novice or accomplished musician, our study examines the short-term effects of music playing for the advanced performer. For our pretest-posttest design, we recruited advanced classically/score-based trained pianists. The participants started by completing a creative exercise (alternative uses task) or detail-oriented exercise (proofreading task). They then performed a piano piece for ten minutes. The performances were followed by completion of the second cognitive task (whichever task they were not given in the pretest condition). No significant pretest-posttest differences in creativity were reported. However, we found that participants performed significantly worse in the posttest detail-oriented task. Our results suggest that performance in tasks involving attention to detail—specifically, a proofreading task involving the visual detection of errors — may be hindered immediately following a short period of score-based music playing when the piece is already familiar to the performer.
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