Aural, photographic, muscular memory, which is best?
There are different types of memorizing for sure, but is one considered better thatn the other? Im the mother of a small violinplayer who gladly would like your imput on this :)
So Im asking, cause Im a bit puzzled about the whole memorizing thing at the moment. In my country most of the violinist are taught by reading scores, which does result in memory problems for many as playing without the scores is not always forced in many music schools.
Then there is suzuki, in which kids are asked to play just by hearing, not reading.
The thing is that my girl can read the notes well and I have let her read first from her Suzuki book before playing from memory as I can see that she has trouble with aural memorizing. She has great note memory (close to perfect pitch, but not perfect pitch as it is much slower) and can recognize most of the notes when palyed separately, but she has dificultien in playing the whole piece by memory if she hasnt seen the score. When asked she says that she sees the score in her head when she plays. When she sings the piece, Im not sure how she does it as it is a bit hard to understand how a 5 year old interprets things,
If I dont let her see the notes it takes so much longer for her to pick up the piece and it is harder to make sure that the technical playing is okas all her concentration goes then to finding the notes,
To be honest I am not sure how her (really good) teacher feels about this. I think she would be happier if my girl would just memorize everything aurally or muscularly. But my girl has strong visual memory as I have. So it seems such a waste not to use it at all and only rely on the most difficult memory type for her.
So what is the concensus on this? is it bad to study the notes too, if full memorizing is also required? Does it matter in what way she memorizes as long as she memorizes?
After she learned to read the notes and we have used them she has made rapid progress and technically is also going in the right direction and has recently learned a nice vibrato and also shifting to 3rd position, though we are in book 2, so having the score makes it so much easier and more fun for us, as we both can see it in out head and discuss it too, so she has capasity left to go forward technically. But as I am insecure with violin things being a pianist, Im thinking is this good or bad?
Aural and muscular memories are absolute necessities!
You worry too much. Trust the teacher and enjoy the music.
There is no peer reviewed evidence that photographic memory exists.
Teaching only aurally is really hard at home as Im a lousy violinplayer, she does pick up also my lousy playing the same time. And this is also a problem.
I couldn’t begin to give advice on child learning, but intuitively I agree with Michael. She is at the age of rapid brain development, and by focussing on her weaknesses I would think will basically hard wire some abilities that grown up can only wish they would have been given the opportunity to develop when it was still possible. Start with a strong aural and rhythm foundation along with hand coordination and you are well on your way to master the instrument at a later stage.
Definitely the memorization of melody, imagine a drastically long concerto lasting for more than half an hour, how to ensure muscle memory would not go wrong? And if you want to learn a new one, then another set of muscle memory program must be established? I think muscle memory means to ensure accuracy of intonation in shifting between different positions, not a program for the memorization of music.
I understand muscle memory is not very good way to go and luckily it is not the primal method she memorizes, so that is not the problem.
Different people learn things different ways. Whatever works is fine. Anyway, the most important thing to convey at your daughter's age is that making music is a fun activity. Play together, sing together, listen to recordings and go to concerts together. The rest will follow naturally. Too much analysis only interferes.
How much listening are you doing? If you're just listening to the recording once and then trying to play it, it's not going to work - think about how many times you hear a pop song before you can sing along, or it starts getting stuck in your head. Try also having the pieces on in the background of your day-to-day life, playing the CD while you and your daughter are in the car or cooking dinner. The reason the Suzuki method starts with the pieces it does is because those were songs that children would already be familiar with as nursery songs; when you move on to the more advanced pieces, to play by ear you have to build that same sort of familiarity.
Every violinist needs to be able to "pre-hear" what they're about to play -- certainly the next pitch, and preferably the sequence of notes ahead, too. (Even when notes are read, they are preferably read as a chunk that one pre-hears.)
Thanks for the replies :) Imust confess we are not doing listening for hours. Ill play the piece we are working on for about 20 minutes before we start though.
The point of starting with playing by ear is so that the player can concentrate completely on the mechanics, and they can use their vision to look at the placement of the bow on the string and such.
So many of today's great violinists started with Suzuki ( https://suzukiassociation.org/discuss/5396/ ) that I would not hesitate to follow the Suzuki teacher's advice in every way including as regards your own parental participation. I saw the results of early Suzuki training reasonably close up with the early development of the great virtuoso Anne Akiko Meyers as well as a number of other young players.
andrew, Im not sure my daughter is i the same league as those masters ;)
You may be right, Maria, it's just that when I observed the progress and skills of teen-age former Suzuki students I think they were doing better than I did with more conventional pedagogy that began in the late 1930s.