Category Archives: Reviews

Guide to Memorizing Music (book review)

When I came across a little “Guide to Memorizing Music” – written by Alfred John Goodrich in 1906 – I assumed it would contain more-or-less the same advice as similarly short book from the same era “How to Memorise Music” … Continue reading

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Thinking Fast and Slow (book review)

‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ is an intellectual tour de force describing a life-time’s work in psychology that ultimately won its author Daniel Kahneman the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2002. Although its immediate relevance to musical memory isn’t obvious, I … Continue reading

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Why do nerves make us forget?

We all know the symptoms of nerves – cold sweaty palms, shallow fast breathing, uncontrollably shaky limbs, the frequent and urgent need to go to the toilet, and a heart that’s beating double time while attempting to escape through the … Continue reading

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Mindfulness and music

The idea that we could all benefit from meditation in our busy, stressful lives is relatively commonplace. It’s claimed that meditation can improve concentration, promote relaxation, invigorate and energise us, and increase our overall well-being. Which all sounds great. But … Continue reading

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This is Your Brain on Music (book review)

When I first came across Daniel Levitin’s book “This is Your Brain on Music” I assumed it would tell me everything I needed to know about musical memory from a neuroscience perspective. But – fortunately for the future of this … Continue reading

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Chunking for improved memory

Grouping bits of information into memorable chunks is a well known technique for improving memory recall. Numerous classic studies such as George Miller’s “magical number seven, plus or minus two”[1] (which according to Google scholar has been cited over 16,000 … Continue reading

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Anxiety and Musical Performance (book review)

There’s a big difference between playing from memory and performing from memory. I’ve previously compared playing from memory with a high-wire act, but just how high is the tight-rope? The Cross-Eyed Pianist has an excellent blog post on this topic. When playing … Continue reading

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