It s on the tip of my fingers techniques for memorization
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It’s on the Tip of My Fingers: Techniques for Memorization Texas Music Teachers Association Convention 2005 Dr. Dawn Harmon McCord, Presenter Music Music Everywhere . . . . . . But not a sound to hear. Multimodal Musical Experiences Auditory Visual Cognitive Affective Motor Memory

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It’s on the Tip of My Fingers: Techniques for Memorization

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It’s on the Tip of My Fingers: Techniques for Memorization

  • Texas Music Teachers Association Convention 2005

  • Dr. Dawn Harmon McCord, Presenter


Music Music Everywhere . . .

. . . But not a sound to hear.


Multimodal Musical Experiences

  • Auditory

  • Visual

  • Cognitive

  • Affective

  • Motor

  • Memory

    • Donald Hodges: Neurological Research and Music Education, 1996


Effective Teaching Strategies…

…actively involve the student in the learning experience.

This is the first step towards facilitating memorization.


Basic information is easy to talk about!

  • You can tell that the:

    • melody is mostly conjunct and diatonic

    • form is ABA

    • harmony is in a minor modality

    • rhythm is compound duple

Could you help them discover this information in ways

other than lecture? If so, they will own the parameters

of the repertoire.


Where to start with active learning and listening?

Have student:

  • Focus their attention to some specific detail in the music

  • Listen for that detail as they play

  • Respond to the discoveries that surface


There are many resources available to the teacher that will help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.


Learning and Memorization Activities

  • Guidance

    • Schumann “Papillons” from Carnaval, Op. 9

      Is this piece:

      • Fast or slow?

      • Quiet or loud?

      • Like a butterfly or an elephant?

  • Guidance creates active listening which empowers the learner to access great hooks for memorization.


  • Learning and Memorization Activities

    • Modeling

    • Mini-teaching Moments

    • Questioning


    Learning and Memorization Activities

    • Storytelling

    • Visitation Rights

    • American Idol


    Learning and Memorization Activities

    • Listening Maps

      • A listening map is a visual image that highlights important stylistic parameters in a given composition. Examples of these images can include:

        • Pictures

        • Graphics

        • Shapes

        • Short musical themes or motifs

      • Source for ideas is Rebecca Payne Shockley’s Mapping Music: For Faster Learning and Secure Memory


    Learning and Memorization Activities

    • Call Charts

    • Visuals

    A

    B

    A

    C

    A

    B

    A

    Robert Schumann: Frightening from Scenes from Childhood, Op. 15


    Listening Map Example

    Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in A Minor, K. 149; Longo 93


    Now it’s your turn

    • Select a piece to map

    • On your blank paper provided, create a map for your selection. Let the following guide your choices for visualization:


    Mapping Repertoire

    W. T. Skye Garcia: Cat Walk

    Susan Ogilvy: Toccatina

    Martha Mier: Morning Dew


    Now it’s your turn

    Set your imagination free.

    • Create a map for your selection. The following guide provides some of the ideas for mapping:


    Coda and Overture

    • Set ‘em up

    • Let the learning begin

    • Let the listening begin

    • Begin appropriate and multimodal activities

    • Memorize at all levels and modes of learning

    • Where there are insecurities, expand the activities

    • Learning activities will put it on the tip of your fingers!


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