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aging, music training, musical self-efficacy, piano instruction, self-efficacy

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an intense piano training program on general self-efficacy, musical self-efficacy, and physiological stress in older adults. Self-efficacy refers to perceived beliefs regarding the performance of domain-specific tasks or activities, which contribute to psychological and physical health. A key challenge is to identify activities that promote self-efficacy in the aging population. Seventeen healthy community-dwelling older adults (60–85 years) with little to no previous musical training participated in a within subjects experimental design. Measures of self-efficacy and cortisol levels were administered over three time points: an initial pre-testing session, a second pre-testing following a two-week no treatment control period, and a post-testing session upon the completion of piano training. Intense piano training consisted of 30 hours of training (3 hours per day) in which high levels of achievement were required. Results of a three-way Repeated Measures ANOVA over all time points with pairwise comparisons revealed significantly (p < .05) enhanced musical self-efficacy post-training, F (2, 32) = 11.5, p < .001, d = .79. No significant changes in general self-efficacy or cortisol levels were found. These results suggest that domain-specific self-efficacy may increase as a result of short-term intense music training; however, short-term music training may not be sufficient to transfer to general self-efficacy.

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Psychology of Music, v. 44, issue 4, p. 611-624

Bugos, J. A., Kochar, S., & Maxfield, N., Intense Piano Training on Self-efficacy and Physiological Stress in Aging . Psychology of Music, 44(4), 611-624. © The Authors 2015. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.

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