Memorizing

Hello Braining Training Superstars... this is Keli Price checking in with you on your brain training exercises.
I want to share with you a discussion from a Train Your Brain class this week; a class member asked about some pointers for memorizing music. I want to share with you how I responded.

A good way to remember something that is long, like a song or a piece of music, is to use chunking. Chunking is the process we use when we memorize phone numbers. We chunk the first three numbers for the area code, chunk the next three numbers, and chunk the last four numbers. 303-123-4567.

In music, we can chunk sections of the music and practice playing that portion of the music. To involve your whole brain, first, come up with a story or imagery that goes with the music. This will take some time, but involve your emotions, your own creativity (and it’s okay if it’s not logical.) Now create a picture in your mind of where you are in the piece where you keep getting stuck or forget what’s next. Talk out loud as you play and activate those parts of the mind… you can say notes or state the dynamic change. 

If there's a section where you keep forgetting what comes next, you could also (just for this section) create a mental hook with the first letter of some chords anacronyms of a silly statement you made up. For example, for the song Blue Danube, the first chords are A D F E G C so I can come up with something that helps me remember that order... since the song is written by a German composer and I know that An Der means "on the," the act of coming up with something clever and choosing what to go with it is making memory connections in the brain. Now I'll continue the story... An der flying eagles golden crest (you may choose some other words - I was making my creative picture). I'm off and playing like the flying eagle in my mind. 

Here's my key point.... the very act of slowing down to create the "hook," to create the picture... that's when the right and left brain thinking kicks in and gets more parts of the brain participating in the task you want to memorize. 

Whole brain thinking...that's our goal. That's what makes memories.

Here's to wishing you a stroke of genius today,
Keli
Your personal Brain Trainer

Emily Lee