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Off-piano memorization

Discussion in 'Technique' started by Anonymous, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    This is not exactly technique, but I believe here is the most appropriate place to post. So...

    The people who memorize pieces off-piano: How much time do you spend with it? (Can you give a hours/page estimate?) And do you actually consider it a feasible way of memorizing a piece?

    I'd also like to hear about anyone's "reinforcement cycle", i.e. how do you go on about repeating memorized pieces so they permanently stay in your repertoire?
     
  2. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    yag

    Hi yag.....Yag.

    Yes, I do lots mental playing when music/piano is not around. Mainly at work or when driving to home.
    I also do chords analysis and to see what each composer has its own styles. This only takes about 5 minutes for each moment when I feel like it or not. This varies.---normally 5 minutes.....

    Say Chopin and Liszt etudes. Chopin tends to go up by 1/2 steps. Liszt does slight differnt.
    Once you got there patterns right and fully comprehended the structure...then go try on piano/

    The moment you got the notes right, repeat the same procedure.

    As for reinforcenmet, our brians behaviours like a computer hard drive. once you have learned the notes by heart, leave it alone for few months, and test it again, if you do have some laps,it would be only minor. All you have to do is repeat the same procedure.

    We all looking forward to see /hear your recodings, and please dnt run away from us. :lol:

    Cheers
     
  3. manjuke

    manjuke New Member

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    Hi,
    I too have this problem, and thanks Yag for posting this in the first place.

    So if there's a piece that has to be played by memory what will be the correct way of doing it.

    * Practice the work on a Piano till you get memorized
    or
    * Memorize the piece off the piano and after getting it fully memorized, do the practicing on the Piano ?

    Thanks
     
  4. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member

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    You know I like this topic. I do all my memorizing away from the piano and I personally find it the best way to memorize. Although I am not a great performer by any means, I can talk about how to do it and exactly how long it takes.

    Basically I memorize whatever sequence of notes I can put into my head at a time (in short term memory). This might be only 7 notes, or it could be 7 bars of music depending on the music. I let this sit for around 2-15 minutes. Then I move on. I do this hands separate as it is usually easier to cram notes into short term memory hands separate. I am told the process should be the same for most people. The next day I go over what I memorized a few times and again the day after that.

    The easier you can find a pattern in the music the more notes you can memorize at a time. For example memorizing series of scale runs is a lot easier then memorizing complex counter point (although counterpoint often follows very strict patterns.)

    The part I enjoy most about the process is I gain an understanding of the music even when my fingers cannot do what I want them to do, and I am able to memorize technically very challenging music before I can even play it at all. I hope this is not too much info for this post!


     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    No, it's exactly what I wanted to hear. What size are we talking? I mean, would you also say your method is feasible for memorizing a piano concert?

    Also, are you encoding the music in a way that allows you to reproduce it on paper? (Ever tried writing it down?) I've had moderate success with memorizing-by-writing, but I'm only beginning to learn this stuff. I'm not actually producing facsimiles, only sketching the notes on music paper.

    My main concern is feasibility/efficiency. I hope to increase the "measures to learning time ratio" as I keep going, but I still wonder... Is this the way to go? How do concert level performers go on about learning large scale pieces?
     
  6. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member

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    I personally do not write down the music, but the idea is to learn in a way that you can write it down with some detail. I would be curious to find out if writing the notes down speeds up the process and/or improves the level of detail and accuracy of the learning. I might just try it one day when I have time.

    I of course do not know if concert level performers would approve of the method since I myself am not a concert level performer :) I have noticed a mixed reaction to this method with other players. I have met good piano teachers who did not even seem to understand the method. On the other hand I keep coming across people who love and understand the method well.

    I personally started to do this technique in my very early 30's. I now find I can memorize more complex music faster then I could otherwise. It has completely changed the way I look at music. But this of course might just be my personal experience and/or preference.

    One thing to add, the technique I described above is suitable for people with average memories like me. I am sure people with extraordinary memories and abilities to understand & hear music could take the method to whole new levels. Again I hope this is not to much info for this post! I do enjoy the topic :)


     
  7. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member

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    One thing I would like to add, it is sometimes useful to memorize similar segments together (as opposed to in the order of the score.)

    For example if left hand bar 2 is the same as left hand bar 6 but augmented a fifth, it might be easier to memorize those notes together. Similarly if right hand bar 11 is the same as bar 2 but inverted it would be easier to memorize those bars together.

    In effect you double, triple the amount of notes you can memorize at a time! (Well, I might be exaggerating a bit.)

    Often times a musical score may contain only a few musical ideas. Using this technique you can memorize the notes of a score faster then you could otherwise. This of course doesn’t work for muscle memory which still needs to be developed otherwise and slowly.


     

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