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#551037 - 03/10/08 09:23 AM Memorizing
Sabine Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/08
Posts: 11
Loc: New York
Hi, I'm new to this forum. Am so glad I found it.
Do you all memorize the pieces you learn? I haven't memorized since I was a teenager, about - geez - three and a half decades ago. Now I find that I have sort of developed a mental block about it but I am determined to get over it and memorize a few pieces. So any tips would be appreciated. Also, do you wait until you are completely up to speed on a piece before memorizing it?

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#551038 - 03/10/08 01:52 PM Re: Memorizing
ChopinChamp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 113
Memorizing is easy. Its all in your hands. I remember songs usually a page at a time. I read the notes and play and practice to where I can play it close to speed, then I stop looking at the notes and try and play it by memory. If I get stuck I just go back to the notes for w.e. I need e.g. a chord or something, until I can play the whole page, and then I move on to the next page using notes again.. I can play all of my repertoire without requiring notes. But on peices I havent played in a while sometimes I may have to look back at the music for a section or chord I cant recall.
_________________________
Currently Working:
Brahms: Intermezzo Op.119 no.3 in C

Currently Polishing:
Chopin Fantasie-Impromptu Op. 66

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#551039 - 03/10/08 05:14 PM Re: Memorizing
Sabine Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/08
Posts: 11
Loc: New York
"Memorizing is easy."

That's what I needed to read. Thanks. Am having a piano lesson on Wednesday. First one in 38 years!

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#551040 - 03/10/08 06:44 PM Re: Memorizing
P I A N O piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 453
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Sabine, I just memorized my first piece in 30+ years! I chose a short one and it's definitely good for the brain! I just took it a line at a time- and found that (as in most pieces) there are repetitions and before you know it- it's memorized! It's helpful to use all kinds of memory: movement, touch, sound, the key/chords etc. Also, it's good to imagine you're playing it while away from the piano. The process didn't take as long as I had thought. I imagine this gets easier the next time- it's a wonderful feeling to play the piano when it's JUST you and the piano! I can just look out over the strings in my grand and enjoy-- I actually felt "closer" to the piano- I was joining the piano in the music... without the paper in front of me!

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#551041 - 03/10/08 06:45 PM Re: Memorizing
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2748
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Indeed "memorizing is easy" and different people approach memorizing differently. I memorize a piece the way one would eat an elephant...one bite at a time. So I memorize measure by measure as I am learning the piece. I don't always start from the first measure. Sometimes I memorize the hard parts first. Suppose I start from the first measure and plan to memorize at least one measure per day. I find it helps to memorize each hand of the measure separately and then put them together.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#551042 - 03/10/08 11:42 PM Re: Memorizing
Sabine Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/08
Posts: 11
Loc: New York
Just spent an hour memorizing - or let's say I'm almost there - a short piece that I love and feel comfortable with - one of Mendelssohn's Venetian Boat Song's. It was easier than I expected, at least for this piece. Thank you for the encouragement and suggestions. I will incorporate them as I go along. It certainly is a very different experience to play without the music in front of you. For the first time in years, I felt like one with the piano.

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#551043 - 03/11/08 03:30 AM Re: Memorizing
faucon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 285
Loc: Missouri USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sabine:
"Memorizing is easy."

That's what I needed to read. Thanks. Am having a piano lesson on Wednesday. First one in 38 years! [/b]
I seem to find that by the time I have played through a new piece enough times to know it, I have basically memorized it. At my level I don't know any long pieces, but concert pianists of course memorize many hours of music, and can play it under pressure. That's pretty remarkable, but it makes me think that memorizing shorter works ought to be attainable for most of us lesser pianists .

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#551044 - 03/11/08 03:36 AM Re: Memorizing
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8773
 Quote:
Originally posted by ChopinChamp:
Memorizing is easy. Its all in your hands. I remember songs usually a page at a time. I read the notes and play and practice to where I can play it close to speed, then I stop looking at the notes and try and play it by memory. If I get stuck I just go back to the notes for w.e. I need e.g. a chord or something, until I can play the whole page, and then I move on to the next page using notes again.. I can play all of my repertoire without requiring notes. But on peices I havent played in a while sometimes I may have to look back at the music for a section or chord I cant recall. [/b]
Have you tried writing out the music? You know, to see if you really have every little detail of the score memorized? I think that's what Rudolf Ganz, for one, asked of his students, and it seems like a good and reasonable test of memorization to me.

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