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How do Singers Memorize Their Songs? 4 Expert Tricks Singers Use for Memorizing Songs (including their foreign songs)

Updated on December 29, 2012

Creative ways to memorise our music

Whether you are a musical theater student, a choir member, a bathroom singer.... you might find yourself in a situation where you need to memorize many songs.

As we all know, music comprises of so many components which include the rhythm, melody, mood.... this article contains a few suggestions to approach song memorization in a holistic manner.

For the beginning musician, it is good to first begin by looking at the SCORE and familiarizing yourself with the words. It is important to talk them out and listen to yourself spitting out ALL the consonants. The faster you get used to listening to yourself and how your voice sounds, the easier it is to build your confidence and focus on other aspects of the music that are needed for an effective delivery.

1. Treat the Songs like the your favourite pop song!

Are you are fan of Petula clark, Barry Manilow, Lea Michele, Michael Buble, Jason Mraz....? We like to listen to our favorite singers and songs, and we play and sing them over and over again BECAUSE we looooooove them!

Treat these songs like they are your favorite songs, (yes they ARE nice songs), and your brain will like them too! =)

2. Imagine a movie in your mind as you sing.

You are really creating a story for yourself - so the song becomes YOUR OWN. This is very very helpful for songs that tell a story. These songs often have nouns, descriptions... splattered everywhere. Make your movie as wild and personal as you can so that you will SMILE when you sing, and so that you remember the words more effectively. Who doesn't want to move their audience when they sing?

3. Rehearse the song WITH your ACTIONS.

Often, when we perform, our hands are not stuck to our sides. Sometimes, songs come with choreography that you may need to learn too for the performance.

Some people have two left feet and otherwise may get really confused once they start to move to the music. If you are one of them, you should do it tai chi slow motion then speed it up to the correct tempo. Actions need to have tempo just like what we are singing.

Be smart about your actions, and use them to your advantage, to help you with your rhythms, placing of consonants, pitches.... etc.


The beauty ofsingingsongs that are narrative or religious are that they have words that have special spiritual significance. If you are spiritually inclined, you can think of what God has done for you, or how you are blessed, and this personal meaning will definitely help you when you memorize your song.

Take a Christmas song for example. You could think of something you can be grateful for or how amazing it must have been to be a shepherd with the angels suddenly exploding in SUPER magnificent song... it will help. These thoughts are cool as they influence your facial expression naturally! Needless to say, these thoughts help us to focus on the more important issues when we are frustrated with the technicalities.

Happy memorizing and making music!


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    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      Hey Flora!

      Thank you so much for these useful tips. They are certainly useful. Singing foreign songs with a choir that is not that young must be a very interesting experience for all involved, especially with the pronunciation. All the best to you, and thank you for dropping by!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      My choir has members who are past the age where they can memorize all the songs we sing in foreign languages. As a result we all carry music so that we look uniform. Another thing people are encouraged to do while memorizing songs is to recite the lyrics out loud as if it is a poem without music. Then later recite the lyrics in the timing of song without singing it. Still others write out the lyrics -I guess nowadays it would be type out-by memory to test out which lyrics your remember and which you don't.