Faculty Publications

Title

A qualitative analysis of strategies employed in efficient and inefficient memorization

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education

Issue

152

First Page

74

Last Page

86

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a strategic difference in memorization between musicians who memorized quickly and those requiring more time. After memorizing a 36 measure exercise, eight university instrumentalists were chosen for an in depth analysis of the memorization process. Subjects were chosen based on speed of memorization with four representing the fastest memorizers (8.66 to 17 minutes) and four slower memorizers (66.83 to 100 minutes). A qualitative analysis of the practice was performed using a graphic analysis of the practice session, frequency distributions of starts, stops, pauses, and errors, transcriptions of interviews, and markings in the notation. Four strategies emerged from the data: Segmental, Holistic, Additive, and Serial (which is characterized by a return to the beginning following an error or memory lapse). The faster memorizers tended to favor the Holistic or Additive strategies and the slower memorizers favored the Segmental and Serial strategies.

Original Publication Date

12-1-2002

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