Any music educator understands the importance of a solid music education. Research has shown that learning and performing music provides cognitive and neuroscientific benefits, such as enhanced speech processing, verbal and visual memory, working memory, mathematical skills, processing speed, and reasoning performance. Considering these cognitive and neuroscientific changes, it is clearly beneficial for individuals to receive musical training on an instrument, including learning to memorize music.

The motivation for this study was to investigate a particular strategy for memorizing music, that of retrieval practice, a study technique whereby novel material is studied and tested afterwards by means of a practice quiz, prior to a final test.

Retrieval practice involves retrieving information from long-term memory, which requires effort, into working memory. When compared to simply restudying information, the act of retrieving information from memory has been shown to improve long-term retention of that information. This finding is known as the “testing effect.”

Decades of cognitive psychology research has shown retrieval practice to be one of the most effective strategies to optimize learning in verbal domains. However, there are currently no studies that systematically investigate the use of retrieval practice for memorizing music. Hence, the current study provides a starting point, using a standard retrieval practice experimental design in a controlled investigation to focus on the effectiveness of this paradigm in music memorization.

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1895 Last modified on April 18, 2022