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Memorizing Techniques Using Music

Updated on January 5, 2015
EdTecher profile image

Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and former teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.

Musical Mnemonics Using Song and Rhyme

Rote learning of names, dates, lists, and tables is tons easier with the help of these musical mnemonics using songs and rhymes. Songs are among the best memorizing techniques for test prep among students of all ages. And YouTube has hundreds to help your kids memorize everything from math to grammar, history to science.

The videos below offer examples of how to engage your children's senses with rhyme, rhythm and tunes to help reinforce otherwise disjointed facts and figures. Watching, listening, singing and clapping along helps kids and teens to memorize facts by combining visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. Plus, they're just SO FUN!

Music Makes Sense
Music Makes Sense

Tips for Creating Your Own Musical Mnemonics

D. B. Tague, who writes the blog, Music Makes Sense, has a great post with suggestions for how to use music and information chunking to help your kids memorize. Check out his post, Memory Boosters! Using Music to Memorize Lists and Facts.

The ABC Song - Your first Musical Mnemonic

This is the Sesame Street Celebrity version - a favorite among the preK and kindergarten set.

How Did You Memorize Your ABCs?

See results

Learn Grammar and History with Schoolhouse Rock - Grammar Rules with this Timeless Classic

Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Classroom Edition [Interactive DVD]
Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Classroom Edition [Interactive DVD]

Schoolhouse Rock!, originally shown on PBS, is now on DVD. I've used the grammar songs in my classroom for years. Forty years after they first aired, these songs and animations still captivate kids of all ages. All I have to do is say "Conjunction Junction" when a student is stuck on that part of speech, and he's rattling them off and humming under his breath.

 
Memory-Boosting Mnemonic Songs: Grammar: 20 Fun Songs Set to Familiar Tunes With Engaging Activities That Make Grammar Rules Really Stick
Memory-Boosting Mnemonic Songs: Grammar: 20 Fun Songs Set to Familiar Tunes With Engaging Activities That Make Grammar Rules Really Stick

Not Schoolhouse Rock, but great for learning parts of speech, subject-verb agreement, and more, all set to familiar tunes.

 

Memorize the 50 States with this Song - set to the tune of Turkey in the Straw

If you child has to memorize the states in alphabetical order, this is the tune that makes them stick. Yes, another corny one, but corny works!

Memorize the Preamble of the Constitution - with this song from Schoolhouse Rock

Another catchy tune... My daughter memorized the preamble with this song 7 years ago and can still recite it from memory. In fact, she was upset with me today because I played it and she says the tune was stuck in her head all day long!

Memorize the Skeletal System - with the Skeletal Rap from Songs of Higher Learning

Schoolhouse Rocks Grammar - use these songs and videos to memorize parts of Speech

Check out the Schoolhouse Rocks Grammar collection on YouTube.

Schoolhouse Rocks Grammar - use these songs and videos to memorize parts of Speech

Check out the Schoolhouse Rocks Grammar collection on YouTube.

This timeless collection of Schoolhouse Rocks Grammar videos helps kids and English language learners remember nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, interjections, and conjunctions. They've been entertaining my elementary school students for years. I still hear my teenage daughter hum the tunes when working on her grammar assignments.

Memorize the Quadratic Forumula - Teens make faces but it works!

Yes, it's beyond corny and sounds like a bad 70s folk tune for children. And I've seen many students roll their eyes, but they've got it down after listening to this song twice. (After that, they swear they'll barf.)

Periodic Table of Elements - as sung by Tom Lehrer

Not the best tool for memorizing the elements, but highly entertaining!

Tom Lehrer always puts on a good show.

Memorize Periodic Table of Elements - in order set to classical favorites

Memorize the Presidents of the USA - with this rap from Smartsongs.org

Not quite up to date. All but Barrack Obama are in this song.

Learn some quick facts about each of the presidents, with a rhymin' rap. Then sing along to learn the presidents in order. Brilliant!

Learn to Count to 20 in Japanese - with this Song from Genki Japan

What's great about this video is that is combines the song with the number and kanji symbol to help reinforce learning. I would have gotten the numbers down so much faster if they had this song when I was learning Japanese.

What's Your Favorite Musical Mnemonic?

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Interesting lens! I didn't realize that music can be a big help in memorizing.

    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 3 years ago

      I wish i had come across this concept years ago. It would have saved me a lot of woes. Thanks for this lens. It is a very interesting concept

    • skefflingecho profile image

      skefflingecho 4 years ago from Tobermory Ontario

      This is an awesome article. I usually have a little song in my head when recalling something, like how to spell something complicated! When I studied botany, we had to memorize hundreds of latin plant names and each one was a melody in my head, I got perfect on the exams, because it each name was there like an old friend, a song ready to play when I was ready!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I wish I have done this before.

    • beaworkathomemom profile image

      beaworkathomemom 4 years ago

      Memorizing with music helps a lot.

    • profile image

      LauraGraig 4 years ago

      Mine was the 50 Nifty United States

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just stopped by again, I think mnemonic learning is genius. :)

    • sridharsix lm profile image

      sridharsix lm 5 years ago

      I like mnemonics because even a blind person can use this wonderful tool.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      Memorizing through music is easier. This really works.

    • profile image

      Ladyeaglefeather 5 years ago

      This method works very well for kid with disabilities.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      There certainly are a lot of different methods for helping children learn. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 5 years ago

      No wonder it won a purple star! What a variety of music you collected here to help all of us ( I start to forget things though I am not that old..)memorize important things from 50 states to Periodic Table of Elements to Japnanese numbers ! My bones are now dancing to the tune of the Skeletal System. Outstanding job!

    • profile image

      anilsaini 6 years ago

      nice lens.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 6 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Hi is a great lens. I'll bet you are one heck of a teacher! I wish I had had more of these when I was a kid.

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 6 years ago from USA

      What a great way to memorize. Thanks for writing this lens!

    • profilesincolor profile image

      profilesincolor 6 years ago

      Wonderful Lens! Not sure I have a favorite. Used to make up my own for taking tests in college and was just talking about this the other day with an older friend who has memory issues. Thank you for sharing! :-)

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Super lens. Blessed today :)

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens of songs which help us memorize facts! I'm favoriting so I can come back again and again!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      What an absolutely fun lens. Favorited and lenrolled to Actors Who can SIng lens. I will have to go back to this lens and listen to all the musical mnemonic.

      The Turkey in the Straw tune to memorize the 50 states was a hoot. It was a tongue twister. Phew. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I agree its easier to memorize things that are put to music. I guess I should start singing more often.

    • Adriana Daniela profile image

      Adriana 6 years ago from New Market

      Excellent lens. My daughter loves singing her vocab words: she says it helps her memorize them faster.