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#2262490 - 04/16/14 07:45 AM Teaching memorization
clarikeys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 15
Loc: US
How do you incorporate memorization into your lessons? Do you require it for performances? I make it a goal for performances, but more and more of my students are struggling to meet this goal. I give them endless suggestions and strategies. When working together during lessons, some of them struggle to memorize even the smallest bit of music.

Has anyone else had this problem? I am wondering if I am doing something wrong or if students are just not used to exercising this part of their brains in a world where information is instantly available and rote learning and memorization of facts is deemphasized at school.

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#2262584 - 04/16/14 12:42 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
zrtf90 has a nice methodical process discussed here: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2165131.html#Post2164366

And while hs (hands separate) practice is oft-debated as necessary, hands separate memorization often does prove invaluable. Have you tried memorization assignments - perhaps starting big with things like the form; chord progressions; being able to start playing from anywhere in the piece (or perhaps at least from every phrase), and working down to smaller aspects like fingerings; dynamic/articulation markings; etc.?

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#2262883 - 04/17/14 02:06 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5590
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: clarikeys
When working together during lessons, some of them struggle to memorize even the smallest bit of music.

Could it be that your students haven't spent enough time learning/practicing the piece? I work with some very, very, VERY slow students, and even they can memorize. Granted, I do give them over a year to memorize something as simple as Minuet in G.

Memory problems are more prevalent once students get past level 10 music. Heck, I have a hard time memorizing Chopin Scherzos or anything that runs past 10 pages. Modern music that lacks obvious patterns is also very hard to memorize.
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#2262918 - 04/17/14 03:35 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
musicpassion Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1153
Loc: California, USA
I require it for some performances, but not all.

Yes, some students have trouble with it. We want to do what we can as teachers to help our students with memory, but it's not a challenge that is going to go away. Just make sure you are giving students enough time to memorize. It doesn't sound to me like you are doing anything wrong.

Don't back away from asking your students to work.
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#2262957 - 04/17/14 08:06 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
clarikeys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 15
Loc: US
Thanks for your responses. You are probably right that I am not giving them enough time and that I am backing away from asking my students to work. Between snow days, illness, and a death in the family, I am scrambling to put together a recital. I am afraid of requiring memorization for participation in recitals because I have such a small studio that I worry I would not have enough students left for a performance.

My students range from early elementary through early intermediate, so we are not talking anything very complex. A few students do okay with memorization, a good handful are either too short on time or simply lazy or don't follow instructions, but I have a couple who really struggle. They play their pieces well, but stumble over memorizing the smallest bit. I am talking about a 16-32 bar piece. We analyze it together and look for patterns. We work on very small chunks. I've gone as far as breaking it down to a two-note group, then three, then four. . .but even getting through a measure is a challenge. There is some sort of disconnect happening here. Has anyone who has had these memory-challenged students find anything that helps? How long on average do you expect a student to need to memorize a relatively short and simple piece?

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#2263247 - 04/17/14 10:08 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
hreichgott Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1273
Loc: western MA, USA
I have the opposite problem as a Suzuki teacher. Everyone wants to memorize instead of read tired

If you are teaching reading so effectively that they can play without having to remember a thing, that's wonderful. Maybe to increase memory you might try just a smidge of what we do -- give students a few simple pieces with no score at all, something simple like London Bridge or other known tune -- melody only for beginners, basic I-V chords for others. For the recital pieces, a building block to memory would be memorizing only the melody.

I can't help with the ones who can't remember a single measure as have never been there, but I do have a couple who struggle to read a measure without skipping notes or losing their place. It might just boil down to what your teaching emphasizes. We can't do everything in half an hour a week.


Edited by hreichgott (04/17/14 10:09 PM)
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Working on: Schumann/Kinderszenen
Daily 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 2, Pischna
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2263317 - 04/18/14 02:08 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
Expect them to memorize! I would say every student has to learn to memorize pieces. I just don't give them a choice.

If the student plays the piece enough, it just happens.

After the student has been working on a piece, turn the music over, and try to have them try to play it by memory. Then turn the book back over, work on a section, then turn the book over and have them try again to play it by memory. I'm talking about a piece they've been working on, not just when they get it.

I just had one student who would look like a "deer in headlights" when I took her music away and she she would start to panic!! Eventually she started to memorize. It will happen.

I think it's fun to memorize because what do you do when you encounter a piano and you want to play? Do you say, I have to go home and get my music? I hope not!

Memorization is freeing and fun. Tell your students that and I'd just expect it from them.
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#2263321 - 04/18/14 02:22 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: Diane...]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5590
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Diane...
If the student plays the piece enough, it just happens.

As long as we are talking about method book stuff, then, yes, that is correct.

Right now I have just two students who can't memorize anything. So I give them a year. For one of them, things are now going over a year. This is what happens when the child touches the piano once a week, during their piano lesson. Since their parents are equally lazy and irresponsible (as if it would KILL them to watch their kids practice piano!), I turn their lessons into practice sessions. I make them play the piece at least 5 times during the lesson, so in a year they'll have played the piece 250 times.

If they still can't memorize the short 16-bar piece after playing it 250 times, then it's safe to say that:

1) they hate piano,
2) their mental capacity is limited, or
3) both.
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#2263324 - 04/18/14 02:31 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: AZNpiano]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Diane...
If the student plays the piece enough, it just happens.

As long as we are talking about method book stuff, then, yes, that is correct.

Right now I have just two students who can't memorize anything. So I give them a year. For one of them, things are now going over a year. This is what happens when the child touches the piano once a week, during their piano lesson. Since their parents are equally lazy and irresponsible (as if it would KILL them to watch their kids practice piano!), I turn their lessons into practice sessions. I make them play the piece at least 5 times during the lesson, so in a year they'll have played the piece 250 times.

If they still can't memorize the short 16-bar piece after playing it 250 times, then it's safe to say that:

1) they hate piano,
2) their mental capacity is limited, or
3) both.


Life's too short. Having a student who won't work for you is like having 3 students. It will drain the life out of you!

That's when you get the "waiting list" out and yell ... NEXT! grin
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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#2271493 - 05/05/14 03:55 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: AZNpiano]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3624
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Diane...] I make them play the piece at least 5 times during the lesson, so in a year they'll have played the piece 250 times.

If they still can't memorize the short 16-bar piece after playing it 250 times, then it's safe to say that:

1) they hate piano,
2) their mental capacity is limited, or
3) both.



What, you have them play a piece 5 times in every lesson, for a whole year??
That alone might cause them hate piano...
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#2271510 - 05/05/14 04:16 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: wouter79]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5590
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Diane...] I make them play the piece at least 5 times during the lesson, so in a year they'll have played the piece 250 times.

If they still can't memorize the short 16-bar piece after playing it 250 times, then it's safe to say that:

1) they hate piano,
2) their mental capacity is limited, or
3) both.



What, you have them play a piece 5 times in every lesson, for a whole year??
That alone might cause them hate piano...

Are you familiar with the term hyperbole?
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#2271536 - 05/05/14 05:05 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: hreichgott]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: hreichgott
I have the opposite problem as a Suzuki teacher. Everyone wants to memorize instead of read tired

You just got at the main point. I stress reading above all else, so my students don't care about memory. But at some point I want them to start. When I do, break things up very carefully.

Not all good readers have problems memorizing. Some are naturally good at it. But a surprising number are like me. They find it so easy to read, memorizing is an extra pain.

Those students have to be taught HOW to memorize.

There is nothing more dangerous than the usual approach to memorizing: "Go magic fingers." That's where you hear people plowing along just fine, until something goes wrong, then there is a major train wreck.
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#2271713 - 05/06/14 03:16 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: AZNpiano]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3624
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Diane...] I make them play the piece at least 5 times during the lesson, so in a year they'll have played the piece 250 times.

If they still can't memorize the short 16-bar piece after playing it 250 times, then it's safe to say that:

1) they hate piano,
2) their mental capacity is limited, or
3) both.



What, you have them play a piece 5 times in every lesson, for a whole year??
That alone might cause them hate piano...

Are you familiar with the term hyperbole?


Ok so your statement is not to be taken literally. SO what did you really want to say?
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#2271724 - 05/06/14 03:57 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5429
Loc: Europe
The idea that AZNPiano, I think, is presenting is that if some student after MANY repetitions and (supposedly) studying cannot get it in their head, then there's something "wrong" with them, since it's not normal, to be repeating literally 200 times a work (which, if you think about it, if a student is studying normally per week, then 200 times is TOO LITTLE count) and not remember how it goes.

It must be slipping their mind because:
1. They hate piano
2. Their mind has limited capacity.
3. Both!

grin
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#2271734 - 05/06/14 04:45 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11848
Loc: Canada
There is a saying: If you keep planting cabbages, you will keep getting cabbages, not roses. In other words, if you do something and it doesn't work, then doing it a lot more doesn't make it work. The other saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again." has its limitations. Is memorization achieved by repeating over and over and over again? If somebody fails, and you tell them to do it the same way over and over, and they still fail, then I'd be looking at the strategy (doing it over and over in the same way) as possibly being flawed for that student.

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#2271740 - 05/06/14 05:34 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: Nikolas]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11848
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
....then there's something "wrong" with them, since it's not normal, to be repeating literally 200 times a work (which, if you think about it, if a student is studying normally per week, then 200 times is TOO LITTLE count) and not remember how it goes.

It must be slipping their mind because:
1. They hate piano
2. Their mind has limited capacity.
3. Both!

Can one know how a student is studying at home? If it's not effective, then more of the same won't produce much. In that case it's not that "there is something wrong" with the student, but rather in the manner of studying.

In regards to repetition, I am not at all convinced that it is an effective means of memorizing music. There was a time that I tried repetition in practising and it caused my mind to blank out, my body to go on autopilot, and that empty state didn't do much for quality either. Otoh, if you try to stay focused while repeating over and over, that is impossible. It's a no-win.

I understand that there are a lot of strategies to memorizing music. Going from beginning to end over and over would be a very poor strategy. Some form of chunking is probably good. Recognizing patterns: for example musical form where something repeats in a different key, phrases, progressions - a significant interesting physical thing happening at certain points. How you set up the timing of your work. If the only thing a student is doing is to repeat over and over, then he is also not doing any of these other things.

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#2271742 - 05/06/14 05:50 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: keystring]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: keystring
There is a saying: If you keep planting cabbages, you will keep getting cabbages, not roses.


The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results wink.

Psychologists have been studying the human memory for a very long time. Mindless repetition of mechanical actions only helps motor memory or, as Gary says, "go magic fingers". Deep learning and long-term retention are primarily a function of relating new concepts, skills and ideas to the things that you already know, thereby integrating something new into your own conceptual framework. This makes initial learning faster and more meaningful (it's personal), and subsequent recall easier because there multiple connections with the framework, and therefore multiple paths to retrieval.

In this view, memorization should (predictably) be easier for students who have a well-developed inner base of musical knowledge: memories of pieces they've heard or played before, a personal understanding of the way tonal music works, knowledge about style features and the ability to isolate them in new music, technical proficiency, etc.


Even for students who lack all of that (which would be most beginners), I think the teacher can help make memorization easier by trying to draw parallels to pre-existing knowledge every student brings to class. Recently, I saw a music teacher teach a compound rhythm by having the student recite a popular rap song, and then making the connection to that piece of classical music she'd been struggling with.

Memorization is also always easier when there's a logical structure involved and you can see it, sometimes literally. When the student can't see the inherent logic, teachers might be able to help make up personal logic that works for the student. Like remembering a random string of words by combining them into a sentence. I know someone who memorized at first by telling stories: different note values were different characters who went up and down stairs, sat on each others' laps, skipped over obstacles, fell asleep behind the wheel and bumped up against the guy in front of them, etc.


Just a few things that popped into my mind ...

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#2271825 - 05/06/14 11:06 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: Saranoya]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: keystring
There is a saying: If you keep planting cabbages, you will keep getting cabbages, not roses.


The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results wink.

Psychologists have been studying the human memory for a very long time. Mindless repetition of mechanical actions only helps motor memory or, as Gary says, "go magic fingers". Deep learning and long-term retention are primarily a function of relating new concepts, skills and ideas to the things that you already know, thereby integrating something new into your own conceptual framework. This makes initial learning faster and more meaningful (it's personal), and subsequent recall easier because there multiple connections with the framework, and therefore multiple paths to retrieval.

In this view, memorization should (predictably) be easier for students who have a well-developed inner base of musical knowledge: memories of pieces they've heard or played before, a personal understanding of the way tonal music works, knowledge about style features and the ability to isolate them in new music, technical proficiency, etc.


very nicely articulated

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#2271853 - 05/06/14 12:11 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
I have most of the well known memory improvement books in my library. Well, I think I have all of them except for Moonwalking with Einstein, I read that one at the public library.

For items like shopping lists, strings of numbers, names, states, vocabulary words, turns on the way to your destination, etc., brute force memorization does not work. The studies show when you practice memorizing any type of list by reading it over and over, you eventually cram it in, but you never improve your ability to memorize lists.

But there are memory tricks that make many of these tasks easy. Tricks may be the wrong word, there are association strategies that work, many of which rely on some prememorized functions.

I have not been able to directly relate this to music but I think the potential is there (and I think the people who memorize easily are already doing something similar).
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#2271890 - 05/06/14 01:53 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: TimR]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: TimR
But there are memory tricks that make many of these tasks easy. Tricks may be the wrong word, there are association strategies that work, many of which rely on some prememorized functions.

I have not been able to directly relate this to music but I think the potential is there (and I think the people who memorize easily are already doing something similar).


One of the tricks for memorising shopping lists (or other lists of random items) is to visualise them. For a simple example, imagine you need to buy bananas, a roll of duct tape, some thumb tacks, paint for your proverbial white picket fence, and new batteries for the portable radio. Some people will remember this better if they imagine themselves trying to attach the bananas to the newly painted fence while listening to the radio, first using thumb tacks, and then turning to duct tape when that fails ... or something equally absurd like that.

(Well, not so absurd, maybe ... Was it MacGyver who insisted that if you can't do it, whatever "it" is, with duct tape, you just haven't used enough?)

Anyway, the point is: people are visual beings, and we are storytellers by nature. Which is why I think the technique I referred to above, in which the notes became characters in a story where changes in the music corresponded to actual "events", can work well for some students.

It requires, of course, a type of divergent ("out of the box") thinking that has been shown to become less prevalent with age. Read Breakpoint and Beyond, if you're interested. It reports on a study in which school-age children were periodically asked to come up with as many uses for a paperclip as they could think of. If they could come up with a certain number of them, they'd be classified as "geniuses".

At kindergarten level, 98% percent of the kids tested hit the "genius" mark, by asking questions such as: "well, does it have to be a paperclip as we know it? Or can it be ten feet tall and made of rubber?" (hat tip to RSAnimate). When the same children were re-tested at 15, only 23% of them were "genius" divergent thinkers.

So to all the teachers here, I would say: have your students tell stories about their music! The more absurd, the better, because that'll help in two ways: with memorisation, and with divergent thinking. And then, when the next person asks you what the use of teaching the arts is, you can legitimately tell them that if they send their child to you, he or she will become (or rather, remain) a genius divergent thinker, with great memory to boot! wink

Also, because of the "integration of new information into an existing framework" that is the way most people most easily acquire new knowledge, teach not just performance from memory, but also theory, music history, "listening practice", basic analysis, technical building blocks, ...

But that, of course, is just stating the obvious (I hope wink ).

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#2271920 - 05/06/14 03:06 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
I have changed my strategy for memorizing a solo on trombone. In the past I memorized by traditional methods, playing short sections, working from the back, etc. A good part of it was actually visualizing the score.

Now instead I try to learn what it sounds like and then play it by ear, rather than trying to memorize it. I hadn't tried this until recently because i always assumed ear playing was beyond me, but it turns out I can do it (having worked on it pretty hard).

That's an easy strategy on a monotonic instrument and it's very resistant to memory lapses, which greatly reduces the stress. Piano seems an order of magnitude harder, to my brain, so I have no idea whether this can work.
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#2271929 - 05/06/14 03:18 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: TimR]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: TimR
Now instead I try to learn what it sounds like and then play it by ear, rather than trying to memorize it. I hadn't tried this until recently because i always assumed ear playing was beyond me, but it turns out I can do it (having worked on it pretty hard).

That's an easy strategy on a monotonic instrument and it's very resistant to memory lapses, which greatly reduces the stress. Piano seems an order of magnitude harder, to my brain, so I have no idea whether this can work.


Well ... it works for me, on piano and guitar, as well as on monophonic instruments (such as violin, bagpipes, recorder and trumpet).

Five or six lessons in with my current teacher, I discovered something I had never realised before: that note names never even enter my consciousness when I play something from memory. I just listen to my internal representation of the music, and I play that. So then, when I play a wrong note and my teacher asks, afterwards, what I think it should have been, I can *sing* the right note, but not name it.

At one point, I said to my teacher rather incredulously: "You mean that when other people memorise, they memorise *each individual note* in the piece?" And she said yeah, that's how it usually works.

Which is ... weird and unfathomable, to me. That would be like trying to memorise a poem written in a foreign language I don't speak: not knowing the context, I'd be forced to memorise individual, none-sensical words, rather than sentences that tell a story. That seems like a very daunting task, indeed!

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#2271950 - 05/06/14 03:55 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: Saranoya]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
So, further thoughts on this ...

TimR speculated, in one of his earlier posts, that people who memorise music easily have "memory tricks", similar to the tricks that make memorisation of random lists of numbers or names or objects easier.

Which made me think. What are my tricks?

I've often been asked by fellow students (and sometimes by teachers!) how I memorise so quickly. I've never really been able to come up with an adequate answer to that question. To me it feels like something that "just happens", whether I want it to or not. In fact, since I took up piano again, I avoid certain radio stations like the plague because in listening to those, I might "accidentally" encounter one of my pieces (or one of the ones I plan to tackle in the near future). Already, I don't read much. When I have a fresh memory of a professional recording sitting *right there*, I won't read at all.

TimR says that for him, "playing by ear" yields better, more stress-resistant results than trying to memorise a piece note by note. That makes a lot of sense to me, for reasons already mentioned above: memorising individual notes is like rote learning a poem in a language you don't know. The context is missing. It's easy to forget individual elements if you can't make sense of where exactly they fit in the finished whole. If, on the other hand, you have the overall "shape" of the music in your head, that gives you context: the same kind of "context" that you get when you turn your grocery list into a story, and/or a mental image. It'll be much easier to spot a missing element!

I believe that students, as their familiarity with musical idioms grows, will have an increasingly easier time with memorisation: that kind of familiarity creates context, much like learning the language the poem was written in.

As long as the "musical language" isn't quite there yet (or not enough of it to make a difference), teachers might be able to replace it with something else. This is where creating logic that makes sense to the *student*, even if it doesn't necessarily make sense to someone who does have the "musical language", might help. Story-telling. Finding physical and/or visual patterns (I remember I had an "aha" moment not long ago, when it finally dawned on me that in a particular study I was practicing, and kept stumbling on despite having it memorised, all I had to do was keep my right thumb on A throughout, and everything else would fall into place). Relating passages to other things the student already knows (a dance move, a particular way of walking, the rhythm of that leaky faucet in the garage, the feeling of moving with a galloping horse, ...)

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#2271956 - 05/06/14 04:07 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
AZNpiano Online   happy
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5590
Loc: Orange County, CA
A classroom of kids can't memorize "Fuzzy Wuzzy" (the one about the bear). To facilitate their learning, I start by teaching these kids how to analyze the poem's structure:

The number of verses: 3

First verse: 5 words
Second verse: 5 words
Third verse: 6 words

Pattern recognition: all three verses start with the same two words.

Rhyme: the first two verses utilize end rhyme; the third verse utilizes internal rhyme.

None of this helped. So I ask these students to draw a picture for each of the three lines. I guess they are visual learners.

These students are unable to draw. They don't know how to turn words into pictures. So I drew three pictures for them, one picture representing a line of poetry.

They chuckle at the comical nature of the three pictures. But when pressed to recite the poem, they still can't.

Not visual learners, eh? Okay. Let's try bodily-kinesthetic learning style. We play charades. We act out every single word in the poem. Then we put together the movements and gestures into a choreography, set to someone rapping the words.

None of this helped. The students still cannot recite Fuzzy Wuzzy from memory.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2271967 - 05/06/14 04:20 PM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: AZNpiano]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
A classroom of kids can't memorize "Fuzzy Wuzzy" (the one about the bear). To facilitate their learning, I start by teaching these kids how to analyze the poem's structure:

The number of verses: 3

First verse: 5 words
Second verse: 5 words
Third verse: 6 words

Pattern recognition: all three verses start with the same two words.

Rhyme: the first two verses utilize end rhyme; the third verse utilizes internal rhyme.

None of this helped. So I ask these students to draw a picture for each of the three lines. I guess they are visual learners.

These students are unable to draw. They don't know how to turn words into pictures. So I drew three pictures for them, one picture representing a line of poetry.

They chuckle at the comical nature of the three pictures. But when pressed to recite the poem, they still can't.

Not visual learners, eh? Okay. Let's try bodily-kinesthetic learning style. We play charades. We act out every single word in the poem. Then we put together the movements and gestures into a choreography, set to someone rapping the words.

None of this helped. The students still cannot recite Fuzzy Wuzzy from memory.


OK, AZN. Point taken. Either:

a) They hate memorising (and/or poetry)
b) Their mental capacity is limited, or
c) Both

/me shuts up now wink.

Although, ETA: a *whole class* of them? How old were these kids?

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#2272226 - 05/07/14 07:07 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: Nikolas]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3624
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
The idea that AZNPiano, I think, is presenting is that if some student after MANY repetitions and (supposedly) studying cannot get it in their head, then there's something "wrong" with them, since it's not normal, to be repeating literally 200 times a work (which, if you think about it, if a student is studying normally per week, then 200 times is TOO LITTLE count) and not remember how it goes.

It must be slipping their mind because:
1. They hate piano
2. Their mind has limited capacity.
3. Both!

grin


I don't think that this approach would prove anything. I think the only conclusion will be that if you let people do the same thing that they don't like over and over again, you probably won't get anywhere.

The first step IMHO should be that they love piano. Maybe the teacher can make them love it even more.
_________________________

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#2272270 - 05/07/14 08:35 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: wouter79]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: wouter79

The first step IMHO should be that they love piano. Maybe the teacher can make them love it even more.


Hmm.

Do you have to love math to pass calculus?

Do you have to love history to be able to memorize the 50 states or the Presidents?
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2272287 - 05/07/14 09:35 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: TimR]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: TimR
Do you have to love math to pass calculus?

Do you have to love history to be able to memorize the 50 states or the Presidents?


No, but it certainly helps smile.

And what's the point of playing the piano if you don't love it?

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#2272296 - 05/07/14 09:59 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: Saranoya]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: TimR
Do you have to love math to pass calculus?

Do you have to love history to be able to memorize the 50 states or the Presidents?


No, but it certainly helps smile.

And what's the point of playing the piano if you don't love it?


Seriously? You don't think there can be any benefit from music lessons for the average kid? Only for those few that become passionate?
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2272303 - 05/07/14 10:15 AM Re: Teaching memorization [Re: clarikeys]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
On the contrary, I think there are many potential benefits to music lessons for any kid. But not if you have to drag them there kicking and screaming. Then you're better off helping them find a hobby that they do enjoy, and which may provide some of the same benefits.

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