Master Class in “Esteban Sánchez” Conservatory of Mérida, Spain

Study Methods That Work

Studying effectively is not a matter of chance. Educators and psychologists have researched study methods for years. Some of the best studies come from the top universities, where precise experiments with student groups have shed light on the most effective study methods. Students who follow these methods learn more easily, retain material for longer periods of time, and save themselves hours of study time.

How can I study more effectively? How can I practice music and memorize music?

There’s a single key ingredient in elevating your musicianship: the amount of time you spend playing well. Sounds utterly simplistic, but it’s true. And to play really well—to find your best mastery over a piece—some memorization is usually required. So it follows, to play your best, you’ll need to explore music memorization, directly experience its many benefits, and regularly use memorization to foster deep accomplishments and technical achievements. I encourage you to give memorization a solid try under good guidance. If you like the results you may find yourself motivated to use those memory/memorization techniques on a regular basis … and continue looking for “practice tools” that help you honestly and quickly improve. So let’s get started in understanding the price and rewards of memorization, in detail. They can make an astonishing difference in how fast you learn, in refining your musical expression, sustaining your interest, bolstering your confidence, stengthening your overall connection with music, and deepening the joy you get from it.

Music study skills

Various study skills will accelerate your progress with music memorization. This article discusses a number of methods that generally work, and for contrast, it illustrates approaches that will likely prove of little value. In adopting study skills that allow you to memorize easily you’ll probably need to pinpoint the common pitfalls so you can avoid them, while trying proven methods, and focusing on approaches that you know work for yourself. Here’s a synopsis of points made below: Speed is an essential ingredient in establishing deep reliable memorization—it’s of particular importance when attempting to embed kinesthetic memory, the type of body memory often called “muscle memory.” Speed can be destabilize us; as we all know, a certain amount of speed will cause us to tighten up and lose control—a likely occurrence when trying to go fast on a large section of new music. You’ll need to select and work on small sections, bits that you can easily speed up. Once you’ve memorized sections you have the opportunity of successfully linking them together, and enjoying effortless command over them. Add an effective review cycle to the mix and you’ve got a winning formula, which I’ll describe in detail as we continue in this article. What’s the mystery? Doesn’t everyone know how to memorize? Well, yes and no. We learn and memorize our native tongue practically without effort. We remember faces and the scads of pertinent information that help us navigate and participate in our daily lives. This is undeniable.

But many of us have trouble with memorization when it doesn’t occur effortlessly or instantly. I managed the required trial and error in learning to walk—so there was certainly a time in our history that we were sufficiently endowed and resilient in the ways of learning and memory. Most people are still quite capable of memorizing and enormous amount of knowledge and physical skill. but most of us have forgotten what it takes to learn and master new physical skills. ut often people have sorta forgotten how.