Do you have difficulty memorising your music? How do you memorise?
Do you memorise systematically or just expect it to happen over time?
You could in fact say, ‘Today I’m going to memorise Section A….or Section B and have that section confidently memorised!
It happens quickly if from the 1st practice session on the new work, you analyse the structure of the piece and deconstruct it into the relevant sections (which act as significant signposts). With this as your practice structure, you can mark with pencil, the interesting stand-out details of rhythm, melody, harmony as well as technically difficult bits for you. Now practising each phrase listen intently for how these unusual features fit together.
So how can one best memorise phrase by phrase and add these up, like links in a chain?
By using all the forms of memory for musicians: AURAL, TACTILE, PHOTOGRAPHIC and KINAESTHETIC. Many instrumentalists rely mainly on the combination of aural and tactile memory (‘hearing’ and ‘feeling’ in the fingers). But ‘seeing’ the music on the page in your head can be extremely useful, as can be kinaesthetic memory (the memory of body movement, body parts working together).
All musicians can feel totally secure with the practised addition of photographic memory. The freedom found with secure memory of music is truly liberating. One is more relaxed in performance, allowing a broader focus on the overall musical architecture, (so one does not focus on errors) and allowing for a satisfying sense of musical communication. You can find ‘A quick lesson in photographic memorisation’ in my book / ebook , Performance Confidence: A Training Program for Musicians.