Many organists want to be able to play the most wonderful organ compositions from memory. This skill lets them to know the music at a much deeper level and gives many advantages against the organists who do not work on memorizing their music.
But is it possible to store the music in our permanent memory so that we could play it after many months? The answer is yes, and this article will show you how to do it.
First of all, we have to understand that after we memorize the piece the next day we have to repeat it otherwise we will soon forget it. What does it take to truly memorize the composition ? We can take the analogy with learning the words of the new language.
Just imagine if you have to memorize 5 new words in a foreign language today. How many times you have to repeat them in order to memorize them? Perhaps repetition of 10 times each would be enough for most people. Will you remember them tomorrow? Not really, unless you repeat them tomorrow, right? So, if you repeat them tomorrow, will you remember them permanently? Not yet.
We have to repeat them about 100 times over a long period of time to be able to remember them permanently. In other words, repetition of just 10 times stores them in our short-term memory, but if we repeat them 100 times over some months, then we will have them stored in our long-term memory.
Going back to organ playing, we can also use a similar system how you could go about in memorizing music and keeping it in your long-term memory. We will use a special 11 step strategy.
1) Memorize the music. Repeat it 10 times.
2) Repeat it after 1 day 10 times.
3) Repeat it after 2 days 10 times.
4) Repeat it after 4 days 10 times.
5) Repeat it after 1 week 10 times.
6) Repeat it after 2 weeks 10 times.
7) Repeat it after 1 month 10 times.
8) Repeat it after 2 months 10 times.
9) Repeat it after 4 months 10 times.
10) Repeat it after 6 months 10 times.
11) Repeat it after 1 year 10 times.
Note that the length of the piece does not mater as long as you repeat so many times. However, I suggest you try something shorter for starters. After 1 year you will have 110 repetitions of this piece and it will be stored in your long-term memory. Then you can leave it for many months, but your will not forget it.
However, I don’t mean you should be playing ONLY this piece for one year. Of course, play and other organ compositions but this is for the sake of an experiment. You can memorize more pieces, if you will have time.
Now try this for yourself and I would like to know how it will work for you. It certainly did work for me.
By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe organ? If so, download my FREE video guide: "How to Master Any Organ Composition" in which I will show you my EXACT steps, techniques, and methods that I use to practice, learn and master any piece of organ music.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.