Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

C. Victor Fung, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Bugos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kim McCormick, D.M.A.

Committee Member

Matthew McCutchen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David A. Williams, Ph.D.


mental imagery, imagery instruction, expressivity, learning, quality of life


The purpose of this study was to explore the union of technical and imagery-based instruction (hereinafter, T-I instruction) in two phases. Phase one: The researcher (1) explored T-I instruction’s influences on aspiring performing artists’ acquisition of learning and performing newly composed pieces and improvisation, and; (2) observed aspiring performing artists’ feelings of learning with T-I instruction versus technical instruction. Phase two: The researcher investigated (1) listeners’ perceived expressivity of aspiring performing artists’ performances that were either influenced by T-I instruction or technical instruction; (2) listeners’ perceived expressivity of aspiring performing artists’ performances of newly composed pieces versus improvisations; (3) whether there was a statistical significant difference of T-I instructions’ influence on the progressive differences in the means of listeners’ perceived expressivity between the aspiring performing artists across the time frame of the study; (4) the explanations for their ratings, and; (5) information that helps listeners perceive music as expressive using the Perceived Expressivity Questionnaire (PEQ).

Results for Phase one: 60 sub-themes and 13 themes emerged from the data relating to two meta-themes: Learning and Quality of Life. Results for Phase two: Cronbach’s alpha statistical procedure revealed an unacceptably low internal consistency for listeners’ perceived expressivity of aspiring performing artists’ performances (α = .02). Hence, no further statistical analysis was implemented to answer research questions one through three. Explanations for their ratings dealt primarily with aspiring performing artists’ use of 11 musical components. The Brief Essay Responses from the Perceived Expressivity Questionnaire (PEQ) provided possible explanations for the low internal consistency and insight on what kind of information help listeners’ perceive music as expressive. Further discussion on the finding and implications for performing artists and educators’ use of T-I instruction are offered in this document.