Optimal Music Performance

Performance, Motivation, and Practice

Optimal Music Performance is examining key features of how musicians achieve and sustain performance excellence.

Excellence in music performance is enabled by deliberate, high quality practice. Unfortunately, such hard work can sometimes be a lonely and challenging pursuit, and it may, in turn, lead to injury and burnout. Understanding, developing, and maintaining good habits and consistent motivation to practise is key to any performer’s success.

Optimal Music Performance investigates how motivation to practise can be enhanced and how practice itself can be made more beneficial and enjoyable. It employs an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on theoretical and practical frameworks from performance science and psychology, to investigate components of musicians’ practice and achievement, as well as how these are influenced by intrapersonal and environmental catalysts.

The project is engaging advanced student and professional musicians, teachers, administrators, and researchers in order to provide better understanding of how to acquire and enhance the skills needed to become an expert performer.

CPS team

Aaron Williamon, RCM (PI)
Kate Taylor, RCM

For the full project team, visit the Optimal Music Performance website.

Supported by 

Australian Research Council
(2015-18)

Learn more

Visit the Optimal Music Performance website.