how musicians use their brains (2014)

Enno Voorhorst

About this exposition

When our modern brain developed 100,000 year ago, it perfectly suited the circumstances of that time. Therefore, we remember some things very easily like faces, tastes, routes and also music as a part of the social interaction. Music is an essential feature of the human existence and that is why when we hear a song we like, we will most likely recognize it easily the next day. This is why commercials use images, logos and rhyming texts together with jingles. The information stays in our minds easily, and more completely when it is repeated often. I will refer to this as the natural memorization path. Memory athletes are able to learn the order of cards in 30 decks within an hour. What they use is the natural memorization path. Simply put, they take a route in their own house, and place images on this route. After learning this they walk along this route and find all the images in the right order. This system is called the Loci-system and was used already by the Greeks. Musicians can also use the natural memorization path because music also settles easily in our mind. Hearing a song even once is often enough to have it settle in our brains. For musicians, this is a very practical tool for memorization but first some work has to be done. I will go into this later. We can learn more easily, more quickly and, above all, with much more enjoyment. The work that has to be done is developing a solid and immediate translation from the music in our mind to the instrument. For this solfeggio, harmony and analysis are essential tools. Finally, I will provide some practical tips for a high-functioning brain to learn and to memorize music.
typeresearch exposition
keywordscognition, learning, memory, Research by teachers of the Royal Conservatoire
last modified07/08/2014
share statuspublic
licenseAll rights reserved
published inKC Research Portal
portal issue2. Royal Conservatoire Investigations

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