Friday, May 3, 2013

Tips for Memorizing Music!

As your children are preparing for their Let's Play Music Recital, or any performance, the need to have a piece memorized will surely be part of the process. It is often an overwhelming task to start memorizing a piece of music so here are some tips to help get you started:

  • Sing the note letter names out loud, in rhythm, in each hand without playing them. If you are able to sing the individual note names then your brain knows those details of the music so well that it will remember them despite any nerves, mix-ups or stumbles. You will be able to play through at the performance and if you make a small mistake, it should help you to continue without having to start over completely at the beginning of the piece.
  • Try to play without the music in front of you - see how far you get! Place your music on the floor or turn the page around so you don't have the temptation to look up at those notes. Then work on the part where you have trouble remembering.
  • Analyze the music by looking at its form (is it ABA format?), it's harmonic rhythm (red, red, yellow, red), etc. This will create a mental road map to follow as you memorize the piece.
  • Memorize hands alone, especially the often neglected left hand. Make sure that you know the bass line so it will flow naturally when memorizing both hands together.
  • Watch your hands as you play. Simply closing your eyes may not always produce the best memorization. By watching your hands you can get a better understanding of the music and have an anchor of familiarity when performing in a new environment.
  • Memorize in small sections, even two to four measures at a time. When you have mastered this small section then go on to the next small section. Then go back and put the two sections together. In the same way that you mastered a new piece you can memorize it.
  • Practice the music away from the piano. Sit at the table, on the couch or in the car and practice your song without the music or the piano. If you can play it (or sing it!) without the instrument and music then it is a good indication that you have the piece memorized well!
When it comes time for memorization, use some of these tips to help your child skillfully memorize his/her music! Do you have other tips that have helped you or your child? Add a comment and share with us! Good luck with the recitals!

Tips compiled from ideas by several wonderful teachers including Joy Morin and Laura Evans.

1 comment:

  1. These are great tips! I find it is easier to memorize a song at the same time I am learning to play it.