How To Remember The Musical AlphabetPosted by Mike Schuck
Now that you have learned your alphabet, it’s time to learn some of the little rules and tricks for remembering which letter goes with what! This article will talk about that. So, let's get started!
The first thing we should mention is that this article contains no direct references to any particular song or musical style. There are, however, several underlying concepts that can be applied to other songs and styles, so do not worry about applying these ideas to something different than what they refer to directly. These concepts include: rhythm, melody, and lyrics.
Use rhyme or alliteration
Rhyming with A, B, C, D, E, F makes sense because you repeat words in a way that is similar to how we speak.
By using rhymes, your mind creates a connection between two separate thoughts. This helps you remember things by linking them together! The more connected you are, the better it is for your memory.
Rhyming with ABC is very common and easy to do if you know the alphabet. But what about DEF? Or GHI?
Using rhyme or an internal structure can help you learn the musical alphabet quickly.
Use your memory
There are many ways to learn how to remember music, but none of them include looking up songs or using an app to listen to music. This is not a good way to learn how to memorize music!
Using technology as a tool to help you study can be helpful in learning how to remember music, but only if it’s used correctly. Technology should enhance what you’re studying and make it more interactive.
For example, instead of just listening to a song once and then trying to repeat it, use YouTube to find one part of the song that you know and then try to connect it with another part that you don’t know. That way, you’ll have to thinking about two parts together which makes it easier to recall the whole thing.
Make a song list
The next step in creating your music memory is to make a song list! Create a folder or file-folder combination that you will use to store your song lists.
In this folder, create an index card for every letter of the musical alphabet. On each index card, write down the first line of the song, then the second line, and so on until you get to the last part which is the signature.
Once you have all those parts, organize them by letters of the musical alphabet starting with A being the “Alphabet Song” which should be known by everyone.
Next, go through each album, movie, or playlist and see if there are any songs that begin with the same letter as the previous entry. If so, great! But if not, move onto the next letter!
This process can be done weekly or even monthly to refresh your memories and add new entries to the music library.
It’s hard enough remembering all of those weird, quirky, and difficult music notes without having to look them up as well! So, make sure you have easy access to your musical alphabet in form of lyrics, tablature, or photos.
You can take pictures of it- that is if you are able to easily remember what each note sounds like! If not, just use software such as Google Translate to listen to the song and write down the name of the note from there.
And don’t forget about using rhythm patterns to help you learn the notes! Rhythm patterns will always tell you which part of a note has been repeated, and how many times.
Create a songbook
A way to organize music memory is by creating a song book or collection. This can be done either through making your own, buying one that has songs organized into seasons (spring, summer, fall), or having someone else’s.
Whatever method you choose, make sure it's easy to access and not too thick. Thicker books are harder to take out and use at times, and we all know how important it is to keep those motivated!
Many people create an album section in their songbooks depending on what genre of music they like. For example, if you love soft tunes, then create a “Soft Music” section. If you enjoy dance/drumming rhythms, put them in a separate section called “Dance Beats.
Play memory games
Chord symbols, notes, and alphabet songs all have something in common – they’re made up of small pieces or fragments that you need to remember! This makes them great ways to learn your musical alphabet quickly.
There are many different types of memory game you can play. Some make you recall a set number of items; others ask you to repeat what you read. Still other games ask you to combine similar items into one item, which requires you to think about how these components relate to each other.
All of these games can be fun strategies for learning the music chart. What matters is that you enjoy it, so whatever works best for you will keep you motivated.
Brainstorm your memory aids
There are many ways to remember music notes, rhythms, and even letters of the musical alphabet. You do not have to use every tool in the book, but it is helpful to know what functions they serve so you can choose which ones are best for you.
Some students will use pictures or sounds as note markers, middle names for songs, using word-picture associations to identify chords, and counting out rhythms or patterns. All of these help aid recall and connect new information with something familiar!
There are also apps that teach how to play piano by matching sound with the right key and letter. While this may seem like a simple way to learn, it can really benefit advanced players who want more detail on the instrument!
Music has a unique structure that helps us understand and recognize pieces. Learning the basics of music theory can be quite powerful.
Create a learning plan
After you have learned your letter sounds, it is time to create a system for remembering which song starts with what sound!
There are two main strategies that can be used to learn this information. You can either use notation or associate the songs with pictures. Notation uses symbols to describe the letters of a word so that you can remember the order. Associating the songs with pictures helps connect the music to its corresponding letter.
The first strategy we will look at is using association. Here, you pick a new letter of the alphabet and then choose a song that begins with that letter. For example, if you chose ‘S’ then choose a song that has a start part that goes like s-t-r-e-a-d. Once you have done this once, repeat the process for each of the other letters in the musical alphabet.
Surfing online can help you find lots of resources to practice these associations. There may even be apps that do this automatically for you! Having such tools makes it easy to review the material when and where you want to.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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