Module 1a: Transcribing your Practice

Please open Module 1 of the Example SYMP worksheets (which can be downloaded in the Introduction Tab)

Here is a breakdown of the columns and how to record data from the video or audio tape:

Yellow Columns (required)

Column B: Enter the session number.
Column C: Segment: A segment comprises each time you start to play and stop. Each session may have many segments if you keep practicing the same 3 measures over and over.

Green Columns (optional)

Column D: Time on Video Tape (mins): Here record the start time (only the minutes) of the segment.
Column E: Time on Video Tape (seconds): Here record the start time (only the seconds) of the segment. 
Column F:
 Amount of time talking (seconds): In seconds record the time you spend talking or notating the score. Do not include time you were thinking or just pausing to look over what was played.

Yellow Columns (required)

Column G: Start bar: Enter the bar where you started playing. 
Column H:
 Start beat: Enter the beat you started playing. 
Column I:
 Stop bar: Enter the bar where you stopped playing.
Column J: Stop beat: Enter the beat you stopped playing.

Red Columns (optional)

Column K: Purpose of practice: Look back at your practice journal and decide what the purpose of your practice was. If it was to go over details, enter a 1. If it was to look at the big picture, enter a 2.
Column L: Hands: Indicate which hand you were focusing on. For the left enter a 1. For the right enter a 2. If you were working on the integration of the two, please enter 3.
Column M: Reading score/memory: Where you looking at the score or going from memory? Enter 1 for reading or enter 2 for from memory.

Blue Columns (autogenerated)

Columns N though U: This columns will auto-generate based on the data you supply. Please do not change them.


Module 2: Practice graphs showing the location of starts and stops

Please the Example SYMP worksheets (which can be downloaded in the Introduction Tab)

This module generates a practice charts that provides a visual summary of practice in each session. The charts reads from bottom to top, with each horizontal blue line representing continuous playing of the measures

shown on the axis below. The first chart allows you to view a single practice session. Just enter which practice session you would like to view in the yellow box. The second chart shows all practice session.

You can also see how practice relates to the musical structure and to other features and/or performance cues reported in module 1b. This is probably the most valuable feature of SYMP. To overlay the features/cues all you need to do is place a “1” next to feature/cue in the auto-generated table. If you did not complete module 1b, this table will be blank. You can go back at any time to complete or modify your features/cues in module 1b and your charts will auto-update.


Module 3: Graphs showing the number of starts, stops & repetitions

Please open Module 3 of the Example SYMP worksheets (which can be downloaded in the Introduction Tab)

This module allows you to see where you started and stopped and which bars were repeated the most. Starts, stops, and repetitions provide a behavioral record that reflects what aspects of the music you were thinking about during practice. Starting at a particular location requires you to attend to the music at that location, as does deliberate stopping. Stopping, when not deliberate, indicates problems. Repetition shows that a passage was singled out for practice.

As in module 2, you can overlay the reports of musical structure/features/performance cues over the starts, stops, and repetitions. This allows you to see when starts, stops or repetitions occurred. For example, you can look for places where you practiced particular performance cues.

You can view one or multiple practice sessions at once. However, if you wish to view multiple practice sessions, they must be in successive order.


Module 4: Graphs comparing practice across sessions

Please open Module 4 of the Example SYMP worksheets (which can be downloaded in the Introduction Tab)

This module provides you with a summary of the data you entered in module 1a and 1b in graphical form.

These graphs will help you to track changes across sessions in: practice tempo, amount of time practiced, number of measures played overall, and percent of measures played from memory.


Module 5: Regression Analysis

Please open Module 5 of the Example SYMP worksheets (which can be downloaded in the Introduction Tab)

This module allows you to extract data for use in statistical analysis using other programs, e.g., Systat, SPSS. The reports in module N provide the predictors. The dependent variables are the number of starts, stops and repetitions from module M. These can be tabulated by session, groups of consecutive sessions, or across all sessions. Please contact us for additional information.

Published reports from our lab have used multiple regression analysis to assess the influence of the predictors on practice. Like other standard statistical methods, regression assumes that data points are independent. This assumption is ill suited to behaviors involved with music because music unfolds serially in time. Recently, we have begun to use mixed multilevel hierarchical modeling (Singer & Willett, 2003). These techniques do not assume independence and thus better reflect this basic characteristic of music making.