In addition to co-authoring the book iPractice: Technology in the 21st Century Music Practice Room, Jennifer Mishra is a widely published music education researcher and university string educator with articles published in journals such as Psychology of Music and the Journal of Research in Music Education. Her research focuses on music teacher training, technology and music cognition, especially in the area of expertise development, musical practice, and sight reading.

She is seen as one of the foremost authorities on musical sight reading based on three meta-analytical research studies published on the topic. In her current research, she has argued for a music-specific dyslexia

She is also a leading authority on musical practice and has written the musical expertise chapter in the upcoming book Oxford Handbook of Expertise: Research & Application.

Research Publications (Excerpt)

Musical Expertise

Chapter in the upcoming publication Oxford Handbook of Expertise: Research & Application edited by P. Ward, J. M. Schraagen, J. Gore, and E. Roth.

November 04, 2015

Rhythmic and melodic sight reading interventions: Two meta-analyses

Article published in the journal Psychology of Music. Two meta-analyses were conducted to: 1) to determine whether experimentally - tested sight reading interventions positively influenced rhythmic or melodic sight reading performance and if so; 2) to explore whether the interventions differentially affected rhythmic and melodic sight reading.

June 01, 2016

Playing from Memory: Development of a 19th Century Performance Practice

Article published in the journal American Music Teacher. This article explores the history of performing from memory  and the reasons underlying the rise in popularity of this performance practice over the course of the 19th century. 

June 01, 2016

Practising in the new world: A case study of practising strategies related to the premiere of contemporary music

Article published in the journal Music Performance Research. This case study investigated the practice strategies used by a professional orchestral musician to prepare for a première. The practice strategies discussed by the interviewee were designed for use in the unique circumstances associated with preparing for the first performance of a new work: learning difficult and original music, without an aural model, in a short amount of time. These included the use of various types of technology (e.g., recordings, notational software, recording software) that were often used to create an aural model of the piece being practised. The application of strategies to pedagogical situations is discussed.

April 08, 2015

How the brain reads music: The evidence for musical dyslexia

Article published in the online research-based publication The Conversation. Research on music reading is explored and outlines a case for a music-specific dyslexia.

April 18, 2015

Is there such a thing as musical dyslexia?

Article in Newsweek picked up from article published in The Conversation. Research on music reading is explored and outlines a case for a music-specific dyslexia.

December 01, 2014


Chapter in the book Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Encyclopedia edited by B. Thompson & J. G. Golson. ​Explores both ordinary memory for music, nearly everyone has the ability to remember music, and also extraordinary feats of musical memory such as absolute (or perfect) pitch; the ability to remember pitches specifically by name (e.g., F-sharp) comparing a heard pitch with the memory of a comparison pitch. While absolute pitch is rare, the ability to remember specific features of a piece of music (e.g., specific vocal inflections of a particular performer or the starting pitch of a well-known song).

January 01, 2014

Factors Related to Sight-Reading Accuracy: A Meta-Analysis

Article published in research journal Journal of Research in Music Education. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine the extent of the overall relationship between previously tested variables and sight-reading. The few differences suggest future investigation of a developmental component to sight-reading is warranted. In general, music constructs that improve with practice correlated more strongly with sight-reading than did stable characteristics. These results support sight-reading being considered a music skill that improves with the musicality of the performer rather than a simple visuo-motor decoding process.

January 01, 2014

Improving Sightreading Accuracy: A Meta-Analysis.

Article published in research journal Psychology of Music. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine whether experimentally tested sightreading interventions positively influenced sightreading ability. Treatments categorized as “Aural Training,” “Controlled Reading,” “Creative Activities,” and “Singing/Solfege” significantly and positively affecting sightreading. 

March 24, 2010

Effects of structure and serial position on memory errors in musical performance

Article published in research journal Psychology of Music. The purpose of the experiments reported in this article was to determine whether there is a predictable pattern to errors during a musical memorisation task. Both serial position and structure influenced accuracy.

January 01, 2011

Influence of strategy on memorization efficiency

Article published in research journal Music Performance Research. The purpose of this study was to investigate experimentally the effectiveness of four memorization strategies: Holistic, Segmented, Serial, and Additive. The Holistic strategy was significantly more efficient than the Segmented and Serial strategies. Practising a short, technically simple piece from beginning to end (Holistic strategy) allowed musicians to memorize more efficiently than segmenting the piece.

October 01, 2010

A century of memorization pedagogy

Article published in research journal Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. The purpose of this paper is to identify trends in pedagogical writing on committing music to memory to determine whether thinking and techniques have changed during the last 106 years through a content analysis of major journals.

June 01, 2008

Predicting memorization efficiency through compositional characteristics

Article published in research journal Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of compositional characteristics on memorization efficiency. Compositional characteristics, isolated from memorization strategies, predict the amount of time required to memorize a piece of music.

July 01, 2007

The effects of altering environmental and instrumental context on the performance of memorized music

Article published in research journal Psychology of Music. Three experiments investigated whether musical memory was context dependent. Some evidence exists for context effects in music; altering the environment at performance may lead to retrieval failure.

January 01, 2005

A theoretical model of musical memory

Article published in research journal Psychomusicology. ​The purpose of this article is to describe a model of how music is memorized for performances. The process of memorization appears to comprise three stages: preview, practice, and over-learning. Previous experience and enculturation also are very important in informing the memorization process. The amount of time and effort expended during each stage is a matter of individual preferences, performance goals, task difficulty, training, and ability. Furthermore, the stages and the subdivisions are flexible and not necessarily sequential, nor indeed compulsory, for all performers.

March 01, 2002

A qualitative analysis of strategies employed in efficient and inefficient memorization

Article published in research journal Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. ​The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a strategic difference in memorization between musicians who memorized quickly and those requiring more time. Four strategies emerged from the data: Segmental, Holistic, Additive, and Serial (which is characterized by a return to the beginning following an error or memory lapse). The faster memorizers tended to favor the Holistic or Additive strategies and the slower memorizers favored the Segmental and Serial strategies.

March 01, 2002

Context-dependent memory: Implications for musical performance.

Article published in research journal Update: Applications of Research in Music Education. ​The theory of context-dependent memory predicts that more memory lapses will occur when performances are in settings different from the learning environment. This theory could have tremendous implications for the performance of music. If applied to music, changes in both internal and physical environments between rehearsal and performance may account for unexplained memory lapses during a performance. 

August 01, 1999

The effects of altering environmental context on the performance of memorized music

My dissertation published in 1999. The purpose of this study was to determine whether altering environmental context affected the performance accuracy of a memorized piece of music. Subjects were 60 randomly selected college instrumentalists. Subjects memorized a 36-measure exercise and then were either returned to the learning context or were either moved to a different context. There was a significant interaction by context and year in school. Though a change in context alone was insufficient to affect memory, a context change, when considered with year in school, affected recall of a memorized piece of music.

Please reload