Many teachers expect memorisation for recitals, exams, or just as a matter of course. For some students this comes naturally, but for most of us (myself included!) it just doesn’t.
I think the trick to memorising pieces effectively and reliably, is to build up very slowly over time. Though I can assist students with some of the memorisation within the lesson, it’s impossible to do all of the work in 30 minutes a week.
I made this sheet to lay out all the steps for a particularly memory averse student who had to prepare a piece for an audition. This sheet worked very well for her, much better than if I had just explained the process of memorisation…I think it’s so much less over-whelming when you can tick off steps.
(click on the image to download the pdf)
This is a very involved process of course, but I don’t require memorisation very often. For recitals, I encourage it, but many students play from the score and I really don’t see a problem with that.
Sometimes though, playing from memory is just required in the world of music. I want my students to have a strategy at hand for these situations and this is what I use.
How much memorising do your students do?
Do you require it for recitals? What advice do you give your students for preparing to play from memory?
If you need more practice strategy ideas, try these practice step stickers. This freebie could be just what you’re after.