How To Remember What Your Teacher Says At Your Piano or Violin Lessons.

Sharon Reum
Submitted: Tue, August 15, 2017 - 4:14pm EDT
Should a student take notes during their private lessons?

If you think you can remember everything your private teacher tells you during your lessons, think again!

When I was in music school, I tested myself to see how much I actually remembered from my private lessons, by recording them and listening during the week. I was shocked that I only remembered about 50% of what my teacher said during my lessons. I continued this "test" for about three years, recording my private lessons every week.

Testing my memory over a three year period by recording my weekly lessons, proved to me the importance of taking notes during the lessons. Not only on the music itself, but to have a notebook handy for assignments and more detailed technique from the teacher as well.

Why was I only able to remember 50% of what my teacher told me during a private lesson? I believe it's because when you're playing an instrument, your mind is focused on numerous things at once; the music, intonation, rhythm, tone, technique, dynamics, and for string instruments: bow changes, bow direction, bow distribution, bow speed, changing the string length, how much pressure in relation to bow speed, etc. Plus the fact that a teacher will make numerous changes on the music during each lesson.

LESSON TIP NO. 1: Bring a pencil and notebook to your private lessons. If you're an older student, take as many notes as possible during your lessons by writing directly into the music. Assignments and further technical details can be entered into your notebook. For younger students, the parent or teacher will take down notes during the lesson.