[Menvi-discuss] some problems with music memorization

Beth Smaligo bsmaligo at gmail.com
Mon Apr 15 15:26:20 EDT 2019


I have always thought that memorizing for instrumental is much harder than for vocal. I think we blind people have exactly the same issues with memorization at least for vocal as sighted peers. But Kathleen has hit it straight on.

On Apr 15, 2019, at 14:14, Kathleen Cantrell via Menvi-discuss <menvi-discuss at menvi.org> wrote:

Eden, 
You’re not alone in your struggles with memorizing! I’m a sighted musician who struggles with memorization and always have. 
I think all the tricks laid out are terrific - figure out when you’re at your peak brain time and practice then. 

One thing I do want to say is try not to compare yourself with anyone else. So what if someone can memorize a piece in a weekend? It’s no reflection on your musical ability and talent. Taking your time with the music is good and valid and often leads to a better and deeper understanding and therefore more musical performance of the piece. 

You may not be the quickest to memorize, but you’re good in other areas!! Learning the harp, for one! Not an easy instrument!

Keep at it and compare yourself only to who you were yesterday. 

Kathleen 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 15, 2019, at 1:56 PM, Eden via Menvi-discuss <menvi-discuss at menvi.org> wrote:
> 
> Thank all of you for your advice. I think my memory has decreased in efficacy as I move into my mid 40s, lol. Yes, I can remember small chunks and then I get lost. I'm a braille music reader but maybe not as fluent as some, I did the Hadley course but something about the layout did not resonate with me so I do the best I can. Listening to a recording helps a little though not a lot, my ear is not the greatest though I'm starting to be better. I can certainly hear when I've hit the wrong note! I learn 2 or 3 pieces at once so as not to get bored, but maybe that's a problem I don't know. I usually take 4 weeks to two months to learn a song 30 to 70 measures long.  These are intermediate pieces I'd say though I've only been playing harp for a year but had some childhood experience with piano that I mostly forgot. 
> I'm wondering if writing it out in lay language kind of like taking notes would help. Maybe recording each phrase so I get a picture of when things should play in each hand. I really have a hard time playing separately. I can get a whole piece going in both hands then my teacher says play just the right hand  such and such measure then I can't. I don't recall having learning issues like this as a child.   Maybe doing that and humming and working on it away from the harp will help. I just feel like it's daunting sometimes. It frustrates me when I hear about someone learning a piece over the weekend, I wonder will ow ever be that proficient even if I get that good at the harp because of my inability to seem to memorize it all.  
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