Captain Fiddle Music

Ryan and Brennish


On memorization of music

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On Memorizing Music,

By Ryan Thomson

My contribution to a discussion on memorization:

I memorize some music every week as a personal violin playing policy. I average somewhere

around 32 bars or so. Most of it consists of folk tunes or scales and arpeggios in various keys

(which I use as tools for improvisation).

Folk music and jazz is usually performed without written music, and so when I memorize I

am constantly enlarging my repertoire for performance. I rarely memorize classical music

though, because I can just sit at my music stand and read it along with everyone else. I

have memorized a few sections of some classical pieces that I found difficult to read at

high speed, which helped me keep up with more advanced players and readers.

I find that some days are good for memorization, and others bad, but I keep plugging away.

On bad days I don't force myself, but perhaps just learn a few bars of a difficult piece. On

good days I keep on going as long as it feels right. If I get a bit discouraged, I visualize some

famous or hot shot violinist playing the piece in question, and remind myself that the

journey to the end of the road starts with a few small steps, and I'm on my way!

This article written  by Ryan J Thomson, 2000