The University of St. Thomas


Calgren, Megan

Calgren, Megan

An Investigation of the Relationship Between Personality Type and Music Students' Practice Habits
Megan Joan Calgren

The purpose of this present study is to determine if there is a relationship between personality type and music students' practice habits. The sub-problems in the study are: What do students practice? How do students organize a practice session? What are the internal factors that cause students to practice? What are the external factors that cause students to practice? Is there a propensity for certain personality types to practice or not practice?
Thirty-five eighth-grade band students participated in the study. All participants took a survey that provided information about the students' practice habits. The same students took the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator.

The results suggest that: 1) Students practice what is easy to play and interesting; 2) Students change the agenda and vary the skills being focused on as the practice session unfolds; 3) Students do not like routine or planning in advance, and they like to practice alone; 4) The highest means generated by the Practice Habit Survey questions addressed the internal factors of practicing; 5) Students practice when they are in the mood, feel inspired, have a sense of accomplishment, and think they are skilled in music; and 6) The external factors that cause students to practice are playing an instrument in a band class and in concerts, and being a contributor to a well-executed concert or rehearsal. Other interesting findings from the study are: 1) clarinet and trumpet players in the survey practice more often; 2) A high preponderance of the eighth-grade band display significant levels of MBTI Feeling and Intuition dimensions; 3) Gender differences regarding the students' personality types preferred are shown; and 4) Clarity of preference was generally consistent with the age of the sample of eighth-grade students.

In summary, the results indicate that students' personality type affected their practice habits. Research literature presented in this study agrees that it takes time for personality type to develop.

Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Carroll Gonzo