6 Things to Do to Reinforce a New Musical Concept

You’ve just completed another lesson with your music teacher. New musical concepts were covered in the lesson, and you want to reinforce them before you forget what you learned.

Here are several ways to make sure you remember what you worked on with your teacher.

1. Review It

Go over your notes from your last lesson within 24 hours. Don’t concern yourself with comprehension at this point. Simply look over the notes and let your subconscious mind make the connections.

It is scientifically proven that when you review lesson material within 24 hours, you will retain more of what you learned.

2. Repeat It

If there is a name for the concept you learned in your last lesson (i.e. Circle of Fifths), repeat it aloud 10 times every day.

If you were given a specific rhythmic pattern, solo, scale, melody or chord progression to work on, play it through, from start to finish, at least 10 times every single day.

Repetition is a key component in becoming a better musician. Get in the habit of repeating everything you learn.

3. Predict It

Are you able to see where your teacher is going to be taking you next? How does the current concept fit in with what you’ve been working on so far?

Take some time to think about what you are likely to be learning in your next lesson. This will help you to connect what you are currently learning to what you’ve learned so far, and what you will be learning next.

4. Highlight It

Open your notebook or your binder and highlight the most important parts from the previous lesson.

Look for keywords and their definitions. If you are learning a new scale, try to figure out how one note connects to another. If you are learning a new chord, discern what combination of notes creates that particular chord.

At this stage, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have the right answer. It’s more important to take the time to use your own mind to understand how it works.

5. Summarize It

Take some time to summarize what you’ve learned in your own words, and write it down in your notes or on a separate sheet of paper.

If you can summarize the new concept accurately, you are well on your way to reinforcing it in your mind.

6. Share It

When you can communicate the new concept with another person, it is a tell-tale sign that you understand how it works.

In order to explain what you’ve learned, you will have to break it down into its simplest form. Teaching forces you to relay the information in the simplest manner possible.