Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


School of Music


Piano Pedagogy

First Advisor

Scott Price


This study examined the self-efficacy beliefs of three adults returning to piano study and observed the role of self-efficacy in the students' piano study experiences throughout the course of one semester. Three adult students enrolled in the Community Music School at the University of South Carolina who took lessons as children, but had not taken lessons for the past 20 and 30 years agreed to participate in this study. Data were collected through interviews, observation and interaction, field notes, practice logs, and a self-efficacy self-assessment tool.

The investigator found mastery experiences to be the greatest source of self-efficacy among each adult student. Prior mastery experience had a great effect on initial self-efficacy scores. Furthermore, the changes in self-efficacy belief followed a different trajectory for each student, and were related to the students' patterns of learning. Finally, participants displayed more efficacious behaviors when their self-efficacy beliefs were stronger. Further research avenues are suggested for future studies.