1) Take a slow tempo and play the 1st measure 5 times from the score and 5 times without looking. Since one measure is a very short fragment, you will find that it is a natural process to memorize this way. After 5 repetitions, the music will start to stick into your memory.
2) Take the 2nd measure and memorize it in the manner I just described above. It is best to start and end the fragment on the downbeat. This way you can easily learn to connect the fragments together.
3) Practice the 3rd measure and finish on the downbeat of measure 4. Play it 5 times from the score and 5 times from memory.
4) Then learn measure 4 in exactly the same way. These 4 steps take about 15 minutes of practicing.
5) Memorize measures 1-2, 2-3, 3-4. Later practice 1-2-3 and 2-3-4. Finally master all four measures.
6) Then take another fragment of 4 measures and repeat the above 5 steps. In the similar manner, learn the entire prelude and fugue.
7) Combine the 2 fragments, by playing 8 measures without stopping. Later memorize 16 measures, 32 measures and so on until you can play the entire composition without stopping. Remember always to start your fragments on the downbeat and finish on the first beat of the next fragment.
8) Start your practice session each day by repeating a few times what you have already mastered the day before. In fact, it is best if you refresh the fragments you memorized 4 days ago as well. It is important to practice the old fragments because memorization requires reinforcement and repetition.
Open the score of Prelude and Fugue in B flat Major, BWV 560 and start memorizing using the above steps today. If you will follow these directions strictly, you will be surprised how much more enjoyable and easier the entire learning process will become. You will have no more frustration in memorizing organ music.
Do you have your own memorization techniques, which help you to learn to play this piece by hearth? Feel free to share your experience in the comment section.
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