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How To Memorize Piano Music Fast

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There are good reasons why someone might want to learn how to memorize piano music fast.

If you don’t have to look on the sheet music you can focus more on the music.

Also for recitals it is important to play by heart. But not just then, also when you are at someone else’s place and people want you to play something on the piano.

A lot of beginners are struggling with memorizing the notes. So here are some tips on how to memorize piano music fast:

Memorize in small portions

Depending on the length of the bar try only one bar at a time first.

If it’s too easy you can try two to three bars. Only go over to the next section when you confidently can play the previous section by heart.

It doesn’t make sense to include more at the beginning as your brain can only process so much information at once.

It needs to be stored in your short term memory first, before you go over to the next part.

Playing it again at a later point (hours or days later), will help you to put the memorized music in your long term memory. Only playing it regularly will make sure you won’t forget the music so easily again. More about that at tip #10.

Memorize Your Left And Right Separately

It’s very important to know the notes for the left and right hand separately.

In case you have a little blackout during a performance in either hand, it will be easier to get back on track if the other hand keeps playing.

If you memorize both hands together you will always have to stop if you can’t remember the notes of either hand.

Memorizing From Day One

When you want to know how to memorize piano music fast, you have to start memorizing the piece right away.

This way you can play more difficult passages easier because you don’t have to look at the sheet music anymore.

This way you also don’t rely on your “finger (muscle) memory” that you would develop after playing the piece many times over weeks, months, without consciously memorizing.

Some pianists rely on their finger memory during recitals and are fine with it.

If you easily get distracted or even have some stage fright you probably don’t want to rely on your finger memory much in case of a black out.

Practice In A Slow Tempo

If you play your piece in a slow tempo you will always be able to consciously memorize each note individually.

If you play in a fast tempo, your brain won’t have a chance for that.

Instead, your finger memory will be activated and will memorize phrases, movements.

But if you forget the music at some point then you might have to start over at a different point than where you got out.

Same Fingering

Check your fingering and make sure you use the same fingering each time you play it and memorize it.

If you suddenly start playing with a different fingering, it will confuse your finger memory and your brain. They will have a harder time to memorize the note.

This is because the exact finger on that key is subconsciously memorized as well.

Don’t Forget Dynamics

It’s important to memorize the different dynamics and articulations as well when you learn the notes.

At the end this is all about how to memorize piano music fast.

And it is definitively faster if you memorize them right away instead of waiting until you know the notes and then start taking care of this part.

Learn The Structure Of The Music

Often times the composer incorporated a certain structure in his piece.

You will notice that when you see a passage that is the same or similar to one that you have learned already.

Before you start memorizing, do this: Look through the piece and find similar bars or even bars that are the same. It will give you a good oversight on how much needs to be memorized. It’s often less than you might think!

It also helps to analyze the harmonic structure. This means looking at the chords and their function. In case you have a blackout during a recital and don’t remember the notes but the chord, it can help you. In that case you can play the chord notes in the left hand while the right hand just keeps playing.

Practice Without A Piano

Yes, this sounds strange but it really helps.

When you are sitting at a table play the piece with your fingers on the table.

In your head try to imagine the keys and/or the notes while doing this.

Learn the Actual Piece

Once you have memorized the entire piece you need to master it.

Learning just the notes won’t get you far.

Learn the music, play it with the intended passion!

Play it “musically”. Don’t play it in a robotic way.

Now that you don’t need the sheet music anymore, you can play with all your feelings!

There might also be some hard passages in it that you need to play a few more times until you are able to play without mistakes.

Repeat

Once you master the piece you have to make sure you don’t forget it again.

If you stop playing it, eventually your memory of the notes will get worse until you have forgotten everything. So make sure you repeat it many times in its entirety.

At the beginning play it a few times throughout the day.

Do that for at least a week.

After that, play it only every other day for a week.

After that only twice a week and after that at least once a week.

This will help you to get the piece into your long term memory.

As you see, there are some sure ways when it comes to the question how to memorize piano music fast, that you can follow. We hope that above mentioned tips will help you with your piano learning and memorizing!

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Eric Chang

Piano and music blogger

Hi, I’m Eric. I’ve been playing piano for 15 years and wanted to share everything I have learnt with the world.

Eric Chang

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