In our previous posts in this series about tips for memorizing music, you learned about the different types of memory. You learned about singing. And you learned about listening and analyzing.
Now we’ll talk about tips for enhancing the visual memory. This is where you envision the printed music, you know where you are on the page of music, you know where the coffee stain or muddy paw print is. This idea was suggested to me by one of my readers, and I have since tried it, and it is indeed comforting to be able to follow along with the printed sheet music in my mind.
Here’s how I see it: use every tool you possibly can to shore up your memory. You never know when a certain type of memory will kick in to throw you a lifeline just when you need it. Memorizing where the coffee drops are or the bird poop (hey, stranger things have happened) just might be the thing that jogs the next section of notes out of your brain and into your fingers.
This is taking advantage of one of the 4 types of music memory. It is like having 4 lifeguards on duty just for you!
2-Kinesthetic (muscle memory)
Can you identify which type of memory singing employs? It might be more than one!
How about memory pillars?
Repeating the piece a zillion times?
Playing it by ear?
Here are the answers:
Singing: aural (plus intellectual if the tune is complex)
Memory pillars: intellectual
Form analysis: intellectual
Repeating the piece a zillion times: kinesthetic/muscle memory (maybe aural….if it helps teach you to sing it by heart)
Playing it by ear: aural plus intellectual
Photographic memory: visual