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

  • Texas Music Teachers Association Convention 2005

  • Dr. Dawn Harmon McCord, Presenter


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Music Music Everywhere . . .

. . . But not a sound to hear.


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Multimodal Musical Experiences

  • Auditory

  • Visual

  • Cognitive

  • Affective

  • Motor

  • Memory

    • Donald Hodges: Neurological Research and Music Education, 1996


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Effective Teaching Strategies…

…actively involve the student in the learning experience.

This is the first step towards facilitating memorization.


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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.


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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


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


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Learning and Memorization Activities help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

  • 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 activities9 l.jpg
    Learning and Memorization Activities help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

    • Modeling

    • Mini-teaching Moments

    • Questioning


    Learning and memorization activities10 l.jpg
    Learning and Memorization Activities help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

    • Storytelling

    • Visitation Rights

    • American Idol


    Learning and memorization activities11 l.jpg
    Learning and Memorization Activities help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

    • 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


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    Learning and Memorization Activities help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

    • Call Charts

    • Visuals

    A

    B

    A

    C

    A

    B

    A

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


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    Listening Map Example help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

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


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    Now it’s your turn help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

    • Select a piece to map

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


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    Mapping Repertoire help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

    W. T. Skye Garcia: Cat Walk

    Susan Ogilvy: Toccatina

    Martha Mier: Morning Dew


    Now it s your turn16 l.jpg
    Now it’s your turn help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

    Set your imagination free.

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


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    Coda and Overture help the student focus on specific parameters necessary for memorization.

    • 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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