Name: Ines Serrano Diogo
Main Subject: Classical Trumpet
Research coach: Susan Williams
Title of research: Playing By Heart
Research question: Is the application of the Playing by Heart memorization model
useful for learning and performing trumpet orchestral excerpts?
Summary of the results:
The main objective while undergoing this research was to put the PbH memorization
model to test in a real life situation. However, this endeavor resulted in many secondary
realizations. Firstly, the very concept of “playing from memory” has evolved from being
a process that pursues the interiorization of the rhythmic and melodic figures that
compose what we call music (playing without any physical memory aid) to a much more
emotional, even spiritual involvement of one’s consciousness with the message the
particular music tries to convey, its content and not just its form. This it to say that to
know the very essence of what a musical excerpt stands for as well as its context is a
much more powerful method than to simply learn it by memory: it is playing it by heart.
Although the PbH memorization model was designed to improve performance, the
obtained results revealed that while this method sharply boosts such traits as focus and
accuracy y (which make for better music), it may have damaged other aspects of
performing that require an external; awareness, like a performer’s presence on stage for
example. Another interesting effect of this research was its lack of selectivity. This means
that although the performer tried to apply the PbH memorization model to a select
number of excerpts, the method’s nature (as well as the performer’s brain’s nature) made
it impossible to avoid some of its principles to bleed into other excerpts, which were not
meant to be affected. The Playing by Heart memorization model is considered applicable
and useful in learning and performing trumpet orchestral excerpts.
Ines Serrano Diogo was born in Portimao, Portugal, and started playing the trumpet by
the age of 8. She finished her trumpet bachelor degree in Escola Superior de Musica de
Lisboa (Portugal) in 2012, and is currently finishing her master degree with orchestra
specialization at The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.