Measuring self-efficacy in music

Ritchie, L. and Williamon, A. (2007) Measuring self-efficacy in music. In: International Symposium on Performance Science 2007, 22-23 November 2007, Portugal.


For the musician, belief in one’s abilities is of paramount importance to performance success. A fully comprehensive means of measuring musical self-efficacy, however, has yet to be devised and validated. This paper reports a pilot of three new instruments for measuring musical selfefficacy beliefs. Fifty-three tertiary music students completed three questionnaires pertaining to (1) general musical self-efficacy, as well as self-efficacy beliefs relating specifically to (2) musical learning and (3) performing. The questionnaires were shown to be robust, each achieving a high score for internal consistency. Summative scores were created casewise for each questionnaire, and correlations were found between self-efficacy scores and the self-regulated learning behavior “seek advice from peers, teachers, or others,” as measured using a new self-regulated learning questionnaire. Students were significantly more self-efficacious for learning than for performing, and scored lower still on the general scale. Each of these measures correlated with students’ self-rated abilities on a range of musical skills and attributes, including musicality, level of perseverance, and the ability to manage stage fright.

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