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Memorize the Words to a Song You Enjoy
Sing, sing a song,
Sing out loud, sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last your whole lifelong
Don't worry that it's not good enough
For anyone else to hear
Just sing, sing a song (Words and Music by Joe Raposo)
Thank you Joe Raposo! Joe hit the heart of the matter in that song....just sing! Don't worry how it sounds to others, just sing! Singing makes you happy, opens your heart with your voice. So, okay, you agree with the premise but you don't know the words to any songs....you're kidding right? You know how to sing the Happy Birthday Song, don't you? Of course you do and if you stop and really think about it the words of other songs will slowly creep into your brain.
How many times have you heard a song on the radio and couldn't get it out of your head all day long? Maybe that's a sign that you should be singing!
How to Start Memorizing Words
There are tons of tips for memorizing words...words to scripts, text at school, and yes, songs. Some say to start with the most important words, others say look for patterns or special phrases. That's easy enough in a song after all there is a chorus and a verse. The verses paint the picture while the chorus (usually sung over and over) is where it comes together. Songs often set a mood and the particular mood you are in on a particular day might be the reason you pick a song. Songs can tell a story and it might be one you relate to or one you find particularly romantic or funny.
So once you've picked a song you like, one whose music appeals to you and whose words you like because of the story they tell what do you do next? REALLY listen to the words.
Quote by Abigail Adams
“Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” Abigail Adams
Autistic Colin Memorized song from Oliver
Repeat the words
Just like when you learned how to tie your shoes, if you do it over and over again you get better at it. Listen to the song you want to learn; again and again. Keep repeating it.
I had a cockatiel that I wanted to teach how to talk. I didn't have all day to work with him so I got a tape recorder (hope you're old enough to remember them) and recorded my voice saying "Hey Trouble" (his name was Trouble), four or five times. I set up the tape recorder to keep playing that little phrase over and over, several times a day. Within a few short weeks he was saying "Hey Trouble"! I'm not saying you're for the birds, but repetition is often considered one of the first principles of learning.
Do you remember reading a poem over and over in high school to try to remember the lines? Same thing here. Listen to the song over and over until you start to remember the words. If you're an 'aural' learner (auditory-musical) you've got it made. You can also listen and watch on YouTube!
I know that sounds so obvious but it may not be. Play the song whenever you can. In your house when you're cleaning, in your car, on your MP3 player. You don't even really need to be paying attention. Sooner or later it shifts from short term memory into long term memory.
When my kids were very young I listened to the West Side Story Album a lot (yes, I would sing along). Anyway, my children were playing and to the naked eye not paying attention to my music. When my youngest son was a teenager he decided to take singing lessons to see if he could join a band. One week during his lesson his instructor started playing "Maria" from West Side Story and my son started singing it. She asked him how he knew it and he said he had no idea, he had never heard it before. When he came home and asked me I told him how I used to play it. It was background noise to him but he learned every word to every song on that album ... the best part is, HE NEVER KNEW IT!
Read the Music and Learn the Notes
Read The Lyrics
Some of us are visual learners and need to see things. If that's you, find a copy of the words of the song and read them over whenever you get a chance. Make sure you have a few copies around so you can read them at home, or while you're waiting on line in the grocery store. Sometimes writing the words to the song by hand will help you remember them -- instead of just typing on your computer.
Every so often, listen to the song and read the lyrics. Maybe a little chant will help you on your way.
Now you're putting song to music. The important thing though is to read the lyrics...if you know the music, great, sing along!
That's right...sing....sing the song every chance you get, every day...in the shower, in the car...everywhere. Sing often. Its not necessary to sing loud, actually its not a good idea to sing too loud, its not good for your throat. Just sing that song over and over. It may help to start by humming the tune then adding the words.
On the web site Offbeat Band, it says "Practice the harder parts more often. Our tendency as humans is to go through the path of least resistance and play the easy parts of a song. You have to make a conscious effort to play the hard parts more often." So too with the words. Sing the whole song and learn the hardest parts first.
I do need to add, if you're lucky enough to know how to play an instrument, learn the song on your instrument so you are able to accompany yourself singing...double jeopardy for learning!
Practice even after you've mastered the song. We have a tendency to forget things easily. If you want to really remember the words dust off the song and bring it out into your brain once in a while.
What amazes me is I can remember the words to all the songs I learned as a teenager but I can't remember where I put my car keys an hour ago! I probably know hundreds of songs, and you do too. Someone once said "music is powerful brain food" and I agree totally.
Okay, you may fudge a few words here or there, but you can fix that in a hurry by following one or all of the steps in this hub. Stick to songs you really like not some song just because its popular or someone else likes it. Its easier to memorize something you enjoy.
Have fun with it, sing! Make memorizing the words a fun, learning experience.