It's interesting how our brains work, and how concentrated study in one area can affect another. Back when I was at the Armed Forces School of Music, all of a sudden I developed the ability to remember fairly long and complex strings of alpha-numeric data. Phone numbers, license plates - I needed to see them once and for some crazy reason they stuck. I attributed that newfound ability to the work I was doing with the music - I did almost nothing but music all day long - rehearsals, theory class, more rehearsal, ear training class, drill band rehearsals - all of that was before dinner. Then it was practice units - a minimum of 10 units/hours per week. For some reason, building those new neural pathways, and reinforcing what was there where the music was concerned had the side effect that I was able to remember numbers. It has faded since then, which is probably due to the fact that I don't work with music all day, every day anymore.