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Pedagogy Advent Day 23:
A Totally Bonkers Memorization Trick


I'm a highly kinesthetic person, and sometimes memorizing multiple verses of things is just plain hard. I found out years ago that by doing this one weird thing, sometimes my memory would kick in a little faster.

Basically, I assigned a motion to each verse and chorus, or each section of the song, and rehearsed it with those motions. So for verse one I might raise and lower my right arm to the beat, verse two might be marching in place, the bridge might be patting my head with my left hand, etc. They were all distinct motions, and ones I would be unlikely to do onstage. ;) But then when it came time to go off book, I found that I could memorize the sequence of motions easier, and since those motions were connected to certain words, sometimes those words would come to me faster. I'm sure anyone watching me rehearse in this way would have assumed I'd lost my ever-loving mind. And maybe I had. But it worked!

We've all got tips and tricks for memorizing things, but I'm sure you've found that not every trick works with every student. Maybe this kind of ridiculous trick might help a few of your students. Or maybe you'll just get a good laugh when you try it. Either way, if you try this, let me know how it goes! And please let me know if you have any off-the-wall tips for memorizing things. I'd love to pass them along to our colleagues. We can help each other out!

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Dr. Heather Nelson, Vocologist · 1134 S Oak Park Dr · Springfield, MO 65802-5186 · USA

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