How to Memorize Piano Sheet Music

If you are someone who is invested in learning to play piano music from memory, remember that it is all about practice. If you do not put in the hours, you will not learn the piece of music, no matter how well you can play. Some people have good memories and can learn in a matter of days, and some people simply take more time. No matter how good your memory is, check out some of these tips to help you get started.

Practice Good Fingering

We all have those little cheats and slurs that we like to use, and though they can help us on a certain piece, they are a real problem when you start memorizing your piano music. Make sure that you keep everything on the up and up when it comes to fingering. If you practice good fingering, you are going to be starting from the same baseline every time you sit down to memorize a piece. This helps you pick up a piece and commit it to memory without other pieces that you previously learned getting in the way.

Learn the Piece

It is very difficult to learn a piece as you memorize it, and vice versa. Instead of concentrating on committing the piece to memory, you will be working it out as you go. If you are not familiar with the piece, start by just learning it as you would normally. This is something that will memorization a lot easier, and it will make the process a lot less arduous in the long run. 

Break It Up

Memorizing a long piece of music is like any other task: things go much more efficiently if you can just break it up. Don’t try to memorize long passages from the start. Instead, just start with four measures. Once you have the first four measures in your head, move on to the next four measures. This is a good way to make sure that you learn everything thoroughly. It also makes a long piece of music a lot less intimidating.

Learn All of It

When you start memorizing music, the first impulse will be just to learn the notes. After all, the notes are the important part, right? The truth of the matter is that notes are only part of what makes a piece of music what it is. Right from the beginning, remember to work on pace, the articulations and the dynamics as well. If you don’t do this from the start, there is a good chance that you are simply going to have to go back in later and relearn it all!

Practice Without the Piano

You need to be at the piano to fully memorize a piece, but there are lots of times when you just can’t get to the piano bench. When you are waiting for the bus, or watching TV or just when you have some down time, however, you can try to visualize the piece you want to play in your head. Move your fingers as if you were at the piano bench. While this does not substitute for real practice, it can help cement things in your mind.