How to Memorize a Piano Piece
Doesn't it just look so wonderful when concert pianists simply pull a piece from their mind? Ever been asked for an impromptu recital at your friend's home but you have nothing to play and your sheet music is at home? Following these simple steps will allow you to establish a wide repertoire at your disposal.
Bring out the sheet music, study it closely.How difficult is it for your level? Realise that you cannot master Liszt's Liebesträum if you've only played for a year, as it requires very advanced techniques and precision.
Decide to learn two or three bars at a time, depending on how difficult it is.If you feel it's very difficult, then try one or two bars at a time. Likewise, if you feel that it's quite simple, challenge your memory and learn up to five at a time.
Play the RIGHT hand part, while looking at the sheet music.Play it slowly, don't rush! Your finger muscles need to remember in what way they moved when playing each note and phrase, and it takes time. Once you can play this without any mistakes, at a reasonable pace, repeat until you have played it perfectly 3 times in a row. Also make sure to look at the sheet music closely, your mind needs to develop it as a photographic memory.
Now turn away the sheet music, and play the very same part again.Once you have played it perfectly, repeat until you have played it perfectly 3 times in a row.
Repeat step 3 and 4 for the LEFT hand, and repeat the very same steps for BOTH hands together.
Apply this for the rest of the piece, up to five bars at a time (Go easy!)
For perfecting the passages between bars, do like so.Think of two phrases (four bars each) as being named measures ABCD and EFGH. What you need to do is to play measures D and E together to make sure that the pieces moves along without any interruptions. It is important that you do this step, otherwise it's not going to sound very good.
Now try to get the entire piece done, first while looking at the sheet music and get it right 4 times with, and then 4 times without after turning the sheet music away.
Now that you know the actual notes you need to play and the keys you need to press, work on the emotion of the piece!
QuestionWhat if I have a limited amount of time to memorize a piano piece and I'm having a hard time memorizing it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is going to happen a lot. What I do is I sit at the piano for an hour or two and I play it through seven to ten times. By then, I kind of know the sound. Then I play it once without the music, and mark the measures where I make mistakes. Then I take my music out again, and play those measures until I have them in my head. If this does not work, just sit at the piano and play each measure five times before moving on to the next.Thanks!
- Have fun! Try not to stress over not getting it right, simply wait until you do!
- If you're having a hard time remembering all this, simply memorize 3/3/3 for Right, Left and Both hands together. 3 bars at a time, 3 times perfect with sheet music, 3 times perfect without.
- Good ways to improve your memory is to get more oxygen to it, by doing such things as biking, swimming or taking a walk once or twice a week. The sheer bonus of this is a better memory and a healthier body!
- When playing/repeating, listen very hard! Your mind works in such extraordinary ways that your brain learns the piece through both the muscular and audiovisual memory.
- If you are performing a piece at a festival or concert, make sure to memorize "pick-up points" to come back to or to go to in case you forget a part in your song.
Video: How I memorize piano music | Jocelyn Swigger | TEDxGettysburgCollege
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