Problems with Memorization

Hi HI!!! I love your corner, VERY INFORMATIVE!! I was wondering if you had any tips on how to memorize a piece. I am currently entering competitions and they say all the concerti you play have to be memorized and the only thing you can use the music for is the sonatas. I cannot memorize AT ALL very well. And for some reason it is always the techinical passages that come the easiest.

For example, after a couple of tries trying to memorize the Weber Concertino. At the end the only parts knew where the Second Variation, and the Allegro( skipping the melodic part, basically from the biginning of the allegro to the sixteenth note descending chord of Eb C A F# Eb C A……, and then skipping that middle section and then from the F chord arpeggios to the end). And then the slow parts like the LENTO were TOTALLY messed up.

I need help. Have any suggestions?

Memory has more to do with learning the basic form of the work. In this particular piece, The Concertino for Clarinet by Weber, the problem is not difficult: You have a melody; learn it first, that means, note for note, with all the breaths, everything until you have committed it to memory. Then learn the first variation, a simple task, because it is so similar to the basic melody.

Remember, you do not go on until you have really learned then memorized the theme. Then go back and repeat what you have learned and memorized, the melody and first variation. Keep adding in the above manner, slowly and each variation separately. The final flurries will be that much easier, and then your only problem with be the Introduction and the Lento section, each one distinct, though not very long. Rehearsing with the pianist or the band or orchestra will always be helpful because there are so many hints that they provide.

And of course, the final thing(s)  is the many repetitions you make as you slowly learn, but only in sections. This way you are learning the form and the sounds necessary to “cue you in” so to speak.

Good luck. It will be the start of a long process which will ultimately be successful.

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