The key to memorizing music is to practice music from multiple angles. When we engage different parts of the brain in learning, the information sticks better.
There are 5 angles from which we can approach music learning:
- Auditory - Music is fundamentally an auditory experience. Therefore, it is essential that we develop our ears and use the power of repetitive listening when we learn songs, melodies, chords, and rhythms.
- Visual - Since over 60% of people identify as visually dominant learners, it is helpful to learn with sheet music as a reference, and also to memorize the shapes of chords and melodies on the piano.
- Mental - Analyzing music from a theory perspective also helps a lot with memorization. When you understand the language of music (chord vocabulary and grammar), you discover patterns and it becomes predictable. The complexity turns into simplicity.
- Kinesthetic - Muscle movements become automated through repetition. This is a principles known as "muscle memory," which happens between the brain and neural connections of your hands. Be mindful that it applies to both good habits, and bad habits. Therefore it's important to set up good habits from the start.
- Emotional - The strongest memories have charged emotional associations. We can utilize this to our benefit by associating memories, people, and feelings with the music we are playing.