Have trouble memorizing music? You’re not alone– and you’re not a lost cause. Memorizing music can be easy.
Here are the three steps for easy memorization. (Also read 6 Surefire Ways to Memorize Anything.)
1. Memorize from the Start
Begin learning the piece with one goal: memorizing it.
Changing your mindset from “learning” to “memorizing” instructs your mind to remember rather than read the music– and you’ll be able to memorize much more quickly when you start the work on day 1.
This change of mindset also pushes your playing forward because you’ll be more conscious about your practicing.
Work with the details from the beginning– articulation, phrasing, etc. Don’t wait until the end, when you’ll need to relearn the piece. Start early, start properly.
2. Correct Errors Early On
When you make a mistake, fix it right away.
There is an 85% chance that you’ll make the same mistake again if you don’t fix it right away– once your fingers learn a mistake, it’s going to be hard to correct.
Even if your brain and your ears recognize the mistake, your fingers don’t. Correct it so it doesn’t come back again.
An effective way to correct a recurring mistake in your playing is to divide the section up when you practice, and play one beat plus one note at a time to completely reset your understanding of the piece.
3. Rest Your Brain
Give your brain a break. Memorizing is tiring; when you get too frustrated, then leave it alone for the day.
When you sleep at night, you’ll enter REM– many studies have suggested that your memories are solidified and stored for future use during REM, which is why you’ll find the same piece much easier to memorize when you play it again the next day. It’s also easier when you have a fresh start with experience already beneath you.
Going into REM doesn’t mean you’ll magically memorize music– it means the work you’ve done during the day is being solidified and filed away somewhere for you to use again.
Make sure you work, but don’t wear yourself out– you’re more efficient when you’re fresh and energized!
Make sure you put in lots of effort and give yourself lots of time for memorizing!
(The actual memorizing is up to you– I can only tell you how to make it quick, easy, and painless!)
How do you memorize music? Share your thoughts in your comment below!