4. Select the next section or line and repeat aloud
seven times or more, as before. Then, add
another section or line.
5. Repeat this ‘overlapping’ process until you have
completed the entire number, verse or stanza.
6. Say aloud the complete number, verse or stanza.
Repeat, yes, seven times.
7. If you are working on a longer poem or song, do
not go back to the beginning for each repetition.
Work at the current verse or the last two or
three, depending on what you feel you need.
8. Continue adding lines, verses etc. until you have
finished your piece.
It is important to mentally rehearse when away
from your printed copy. For example, try to recall
and repeat the passage when you have muted the
TV during a commercial, or when doing the dishes,
or when out for a walk, sitting somewhere waiting,
or when counting sheep doesn’t work. If you
become ‘stuck’ on a word or section, check that later
in the printed copy.
Study tips to consider.
• Note your own capacity and take it easy. Are you
comfortable memorizing two, four, six or more
lines per day?
• Look carefully for meaning, alliteration, cadence
and phrasing: these become ‘triggers’ to help with
• Break down difficult passages to shorter phrases
and work on them separately.
• There won’t be a test on this next week! Take your
time, feel confident before adding new lines or
verses. Appreciate your successes!
• Repetition is your friend when memorizing. The
more times you test your recall, the more accurate
you will become. And, yes, repeating sections at
least seven times is your goal.
• Repeating aloud quietly increases your ability to
recall. You can also just ‘think it through’ with
• As you practice, use your ‘mind’s eye’ to try to
visualize key words and lines from your target
• Consider sharing your memory task with a
spouse, partner or friend. Then you may also
enjoy helping each other to memorize – it isn’t a
contest, just a shared, enjoyable challenge.
As we age, some of us become more reflective and
appreciative of the nuances of written expression.
That type of appreciation is part of the personal
pleasure you may obtain from memorizing a
passage that has importance to you or that you
simply enjoy. Plus, you will really feel like you have
accomplished something! So, what comes next:
“The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed …”
*Glise, A. (1997). Classical Guitar Pedagogy: A
Handbook for Teachers. St. Joseph, Montana: Mel Bay
Publications, pp 90.
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