Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bear, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    I was teaching a lesson and a young gentleman asked me what the big deal about memorizing music? One of his friends said so they could concentrate on the show drill... marching band. I started talking to the teacher and gradually brought up the subject about memorization and what they were teaching... Turns out, the majority of the people I've talked to have no idea why they memorize music, they've just always been told to do it.
    That being said, I would like to start a discussion on the importance of memorizing music and if anyone has any great stories, please feel free to jump in.
    Bottom line: I think memorizing helps take the mind off the mechanics of an individual part and helps to focus on the total picture of music. Such as, harmony, time, other lines, etc. Thoughts?
    I think it's great to memorize just to work out the brain, but why not delve into the aspects of ear trianing while it's being done, eh?

    Keep Blowin',
    Tim Bear
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Memorizing music gives me a 3-D picture of what is going on. I don't count bars of rest, I learn the form and flow of the line, I take musical cues from the orchestra instead of being occupied with myself.
    Memorization is key to being REALLY prepared.
    Marching band was also my first adventure in memorizing. I had to because I had no music holder for the horn and no money to buy a clip on. Most of those marches are still recallable today, 35 years later..........
  3. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Memorizing music improves musicallity. I have trouble doing it but the few lines I have memorized really free up my ability to play musically.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Forced memorization is a sure way to get students practicing enough!
  5. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    That is true but, it could also be a big discouragement for those who aren't good at memorizing things.
  6. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    What are your secrets to memorization?
  7. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    In high school marching band we were required to memorize everything. Each week we would do 3 new songs for that week's football game. By the time you were in your senior year, you could play one of the Hal Leonard arrangements a couple of times and you'd have it. The underclassmen would struggle all week.

    The other thing that was nice is that we would play for the opening of supermarkets, birthdays, really any occasion someone wanted to pay for. Our drum major could call out songs and we'd be able to play at least an hour of music.
  8. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    It's funny, I can memorize music fairly easily but I have trouble studying for a test.
    In Marching band I never counted a drill. I learned it by music queue. (sp?)
    When we were told to count ten steps and turn right, I would count ten beats ahead in the music and put an R. That's how I learned the whole show.

    I like to perform solos from memory. I think it gives more freedom. Even if I can't memorize the whole thing I learn it enough so the music on the page is just a reminder.

    Has anyone been playing from memory and your mind wonders? This has happened to me more then once and I'm still playing and thinking, "where the heck am I?" I never had to stop though.
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Dr. Robert Kelly (How to Memorize Music) has the following advice:

    "Always memorize first! It is the quickest way to learn a piece. If you have the score in front of you through the entire process of learning a piece of music, then you have to relearn the whole piece during the memorization process. If you memorize it first, then you can focus all of your energy on the musical interpretation for the rest of the learning process."

    I can play the National Anthem in Bb on a C trumpet from memory. If you want me to play it in C, please hand me a D trumpet, 'cuz otherwise I'll botch it. I can't even play Happy Birthday without music. With music, however, I can stare down most composers while playing. Weird. When I have the music I don't need it, when I don't I do. Must have damaged my brain the 70's, 80's, 90's...​
  10. BergeronWannabe

    BergeronWannabe Piano User

    Feb 6, 2007
    Repetition! We play marching band music so many times, it can get boring at times. But then the director adds dynamics and horn pops that accent it, turns out pretty cool.
    It also helps moving and concentrating on spots. we go back and forth alot! We tried using the music folders once but I guess the drill suffered.

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