As part of this project, I’ll be trying to interview a wide range of musicians to understand if, why and how they memorise music. This should complement the reviews as well as a sporadic blog of my own personal experiences of memorising (and forgetting!) music. This will  include professional performers, teachers, conductors and composers as well as amateur musicians. Naturally, given my background, I expect I’ll inevitably tend towards interviewing classical pianists, but this is an unintentional bias which I hope to rectify over time! If you’re keen to contribute, or know someone who might be, please download the interview questions below and send the responses to me. Or just get in touch

I’m happy to receive thoughts, anecdotes and tips about musical memorising, or if you prefer, you can download the standard questionnaire here.

Read previous interviews


2 Responses to Interviews

  1. Bob says:

    I use lighting when I memorize. I stick with the music until I can play the piece smoothly from beginning to end, and until it starts to “feel easy”. At that point I can play the piece with less focus on individual notes on the score. At around this point I dim the lights so that I see the music as more of a ‘flow’ or as patterns on the paper. Sometimes I need to brighten the lights for particular passages, then repeat the dimming process. At some point, I’m watching the music, but I’m not really watching the music. At that point I try closing the score to see if I can still ‘see’ the music in my mind’s eye. If so, it’s memorized.

  2. Bob says:

    A follow-up note: So in the above sense, my process of memorizing music is a process of gradually going ‘blind’ to the paper so that the other senses are enhanced: the tone quality, the touch of the strings and the fingerboard, the vibrations of the guitar against the chest to name a few, begin to take on greater importance.

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