Tag Archives: conceptual memory

Practice, learning and memory, part IV

And continuing our practice strategies to ensure effective learning and memory:

Sitting on an outdoor bench in a scenic spot may not be your idea of practicing, but it depends on what you’re thinking about while you sit there.

7) Reflection.  Psychologists speak about reflection as a learning strategy – thinking about what you have learned and asking yourself questions to solidify Silhouette of an anonymous male alone on a bench at sunsetwhat you know. Find a quiet place to sit away from your instrument and quiz yourself on what you know about the piece or about the segment you just learned.  What are the key relationships, what’s the structure, where are the sections, patterns, motifs? The more you have to struggle to remember or perhaps check the score to verify, the more your brain fills in the missing information, consolidates, and makes the neural networks stronger. Continue reading

Practice, learning and memory, part I

None of my teachers ever spoke with me about how to practice.  They didn’t suggest strategies or give me tips.  I guess they assumed, since I memorized so easily, that I didn’t need any help.   I had what’s called a “good ear,” and I could hear the piece in my mind.  By the time I had developed the motor skills to play a particular piece, all of the melodies, rhythms, and harmonies were in my head, and I counted on that when I performed.  I assumed that good auditory memory was all I needed.   But after a couple of bad experiences following grad school, I decided that I needed to develop a more secure system for learning and memorizing.

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