Memorizing pieces and returning to old pieces by memory are key aspects of the Suzuki
method. Here are some tips for your student to increase music retention:
1. Say and Play. Say the notes aloud while you play them. For wind instruments, say the
notes while putting down the correct fingerings without blowing. This helps solidify the
connection between the note and the hand movements, so that it eventually becomes
2. Air Guitar (Visualization). Take a section of the piece you’re learning (or even the
whole piece) and imagine yourself playing it. Where do your fingers go? What notes are
you playing? What dynamics should you be using? Running it over in your head can
ensure that you understand the piece as a whole before you even pick up the instrument
to play. This is great for long car rides or other downtime!
3. Level Up With Memory Challenges. Once you know a piece by memory, challenge
yourself! Try alternating one measure playing and one measure visualizing. Then try two
measures playing and two visualizing. Hear the song in your head and start playing
when a friend or parent cues you in while you both tap it out.
Remember: repetition is always good, but don’t rely on it. You want to internalize the music in
order to memorize things quicker and keep them memorized for longer.