Piano Forum



Does Rachmaninoff Touch Your Heart?
Today, with smartwatches and everyday electronics, it is increasingly common to measure training results, heart rate, calorie consumption, and overall health. But monitoring heart rate of pianists and audience can reveal interesting insights on several other aspects within the musical field. Read more >>

Topic: Memorization  (Read 4067 times)

Offline all_black_and_white

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
Memorization
on: October 07, 2004, 02:02:28 AM
I'm struggling to make my memorization more effective.  I've tried taking peices measure by measure, left hand, right hand, then together; I've tried going by measure by measure hands together the whole way; I've tried working the whole of the peice until I had it engraved in my memory.  Also I have a difficulty retaining memory of the peice after I have memorized it - I can't keep more than five peices in my head for very long (and even that is questionable).  I'm not sure if this is due to my memorization method, or if I'm just not playing it often enough afterwards to keep it there.  

  I'm I missing something? :P
 

Offline donjuan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3139
Re: Memorization
Reply #1 on: October 07, 2004, 02:18:42 AM
Stop trying to memorize notes - right hand this, left hand that.. You wont be able to hold very much in your head.  Begin to notice, say - I play E, G#, B in the left hand.  Instaed of thinking "ok, Ill play E.....ummm...G#...yeah, that sounds right...err....B!" think, "ok, E Major arpeggio --> done"

It is exhausting keeping pieces part of your repertoire, so you could let them slip a little bit, just so long as you stay familiar with it.  If you have a recital coming up in 2 weeks and you want one of the pieces ready, it wouldnt have slipped so far so you have to relearn EVERYTHING.  You may have to take out the sheetmusic and refresh yourself, but within a day or two it would be back and fresh in your mind as if you had been working on it for the last 5 months!  This is actually better for the music as well- If you play a piece constantly for months, it gets tiresome and worn out.  you will enjoy playing it if you take a break from it every now and then.

I hope you find what I suggest helpful.  Also, if you are playing mozart or bach, you will especially find it difficult to memorize-its just one of those things...
donjuan

Offline all_black_and_white

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
Re: Memorization
Reply #2 on: October 07, 2004, 08:50:39 PM
Your suggestions were certainly helpfull - I think I was making it too complicated!  I tried working it more that way last night, and got much better results.

Also, has anyone ever tried memorizing through emphasizing different senses?  Example - memorizing from page to memory (getting the on-page notes in your head), then with eyes closed (paying attention to sound, then feel, then getting a visual of playing it in your head), and then when you have really mastered the last two, play while watching your hands?  I have only tried the first two so far - but it seems to me that this philosophy would help to master the peice in your mind.  Just bouncing off ideas, and curious if anyone has tried it. :)

--Sarah

Offline klavierkonzerte

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
Re: Memorization
Reply #3 on: October 07, 2004, 09:30:42 PM
the best way to memorize any piece is to study theory.

insted of memorizing understand what you are playing.

try playing a piece just by listening to it, i alwaysdo that
and it helped me alot, its hard at first but it gets really easy after a while and it will help you alot with understanding music.

hope this helps.

Offline Tash

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2248
Re: Memorization
Reply #4 on: October 08, 2004, 06:07:44 AM
i tend to memorise my pieces by letting me hands just follow their movement patterns, so they know exactly where they're going, and provided my brain doesn't interfere and question what note it's meant to be ready to hit, it works well. i don't know what notes i'm playing most of the time, and maybe that's not the best way to go about playing, but it works for me and i'm happy with it. i always play my pieces for memory and my teacher thinks i'm really good at memorising stuff so whatever works.

but if i tried memorising every note i think that'd drive me insane. for me it's all just a random pattern!
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline klavierkonzerte

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
Re: Memorization
Reply #5 on: October 08, 2004, 01:23:44 PM
tash your way is great i memorize pieces your way most of the time but somtimes this way is dagerous, if you missed somthing it'll be really hard to continue specially if you are playing somthing fast.

Offline Seaside_Lee

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
Re: Memorization
Reply #6 on: October 08, 2004, 01:42:20 PM
Hi

I also find it helps to notice the direction your music is going in ...hint...music often tends to be going up or down and usually repeats itself and is often trying to get back to where it started from to resolve.

Also hum along with your music as you are playing you will get better at noticing/hearing when your hum goes higher or lower (I think it helps your fingers connect with your brain...could just be me though?)


regards

Lee
I am back tickling the ivories after a thirty year hiatus...playing by ear and having fun !

Offline all_black_and_white

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
Re: Memorization
Reply #7 on: October 08, 2004, 05:36:43 PM
Well, you all have some good suggestions...I appreciate all of them!  

...But I'd like to pose a question about the methods you're each going by. :)  I'm really trying to master pieces in my memory.  Do you think the way you are going about memorizing does that?  I've tried memorizing pieces through some of the suggested methods, and I found I could play them through afterwards from memory very well - if I didn't really think about what I was doing.  Once I consciously start to play, it falls apart, and I realize I don't really KNOW what I'm playing - maybe one or two of my senses have a good grasp on it (which I would probably assume are my ability to hear, and feel the piece with with my hands).  But, both of these come about through sub-conciousness.

   I'm not claiming to know a better way, I'm just posing a question: IS there a better way?  Is it possible to play a piece just as consciously and effectively through memory as you would if you had the music before you?

  I really do appreciate everyone's input though.  I don't think anyone goes about memorizing in the same way, and it's great to hear how different individuals go about tackling it. :)

Offline Piazzo22

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: Memorization
Reply #8 on: October 08, 2004, 08:04:30 PM
You can try memorizing each hand of a section by looking at the keyboard, play each hand a while by memory, and then try to join them.
That´s what Chang says. Give it a try, I bashed him too much for now.  ;D
August Förster (Löbau) owner.

Offline Seaside_Lee

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
Re: Memorization
Reply #9 on: October 08, 2004, 09:17:36 PM
Hi all b & W

Quote

Is it possible to play a piece just as consciously and effectively through memory as you would if you had the music before you?



Yes...just look for the patterns...look for the relationships with chords and melody and sing /hum along...don't just learn note by note learn the phrases and see the direction of the music. Look outside of the box!


regards



Lee


Or try the bernhard method learn it and forget it 5 times ? :)
I am back tickling the ivories after a thirty year hiatus...playing by ear and having fun !

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Re: Memorization
Reply #10 on: October 11, 2004, 12:15:27 AM
There are several threads dealing with memorisation.

Try these three:

https://www.pianoforum.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=stud;action=display;num=1090647299;start=0
(memory tips)

https://www.pianoforum.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=stud;action=display;num=1084678191;start=0
(specifically referring to French suites)

https://www.pianoforum.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=teac;action=display;num=1093988975
(see reply #22)

You can also try these books:

For the history of the “Art of Memory” – a fascinating subject, the best reference id Frances Yates “The Art of Memory”. This is an academic book written by a historian. It is not really about tips to improve memory.

For  piano applications, the only 2 books I came across are:

Walter Gieseking & Karl Leimer – Piano technique (Dover). Gieseking would only go to the piano after he had memorised the whole piece working solely on the score. This book explains this kind of mental practice with many examples. (But be warned, it is hard mental work!)

Lilias Mackinnon – “Music by heart” (Oxford University Press). This may be out of print. The psychological theory of memory is probably outdated (my edition is from 1944), but the tips and methods to memorise music are all usable.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Re: Memorization
Reply #11 on: October 11, 2004, 12:17:04 AM
Quote


Or try the bernhard method learn it and forget it 5 times ? :)


Actually learn, forget and relearn ;)
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)
For more information about this topic, click search below!
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert