top of page

A nerdy memorization technique

Those of you in the loop will not have failed to notice that there has been no recital activity of any kind since our last performance in Dublin in May of this year. That will all change, starting in January 2017. Having reached halfway house I felt the need of a rest, and for the first time in five years I enjoyed a whole Schubert-free month during the summer. The hectic pace demanded by performing the complete songs in three different venues is also a thing of the past, since barring miracles the two venues in Belgium cannot assure the completion of the cycle, drawing in their horns and proposing just one recital a year*. Dublin remains the last bastion...


Some time ago I hit on a novel method for memorizing large chunks of poetry, and I'm happy to share it with you. Be warned, it will attract odd looks on public transport. It consists on 'ghost' writing out each line of the text separately three times, with nothing more than your fingernail (you can of course use pen and paper if you wish.) In a four-line stanza, my technique would look this:

Line one x 3

Line two x 3

Lines one and two x 1

Line three x 3

Lines one, two and three x 1

Line four x 3

Lines one-four x 1.

I strongly recommend that you then let your work settle, coming back to it a few days later. When you feel you can recite the whole poem from memory with reasonable fluency, turn to the music. Painstaking!

* Whereas previously the pattern was as follows:

Bever, recitals I-XXXVI

Jodoigne, recitals I-XXXVI

Dublin, recitals I-XXXVI, in other words three series running simultaneously over a period of ten years, we have now decided (in Belgium) to conflate the two series, adding other venues as we see fit.

As clear as mud, as the actress said to the bishop.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page