3 Effective Memorisation Tips For Mastering Piano Music

Playing the piano has its benefits, such as improving your cognitive and mental health. But, preparing for a live performance or a recital can pose challenges, particularly if memorisation is not your strong suit. In this article, we explore three different memorisation techniques – motor, auditory, and visual – to elevate your piano skills and captivate your audience effortlessly.

1. Motor memorisation 

Motor memorisation emphasises muscle memory and the tactile aspects of playing the piano. Below, we explain how to apply this technique effectively;

  • Deliberate and slow practice: Begin by practising the piece deliberately and slowly. Focus on hand positions, fingerings, and movements between keys.
  • Repeat problematic passages: Identify challenging sections and isolate them for dedicated practice. Slowly work through these passages until they become second nature.
  • Gradual tempo increase: Once you can play the piece accurately at a slow tempo, gradually increase the speed while maintaining precision and control.
  • Eyes off the sheet music: As you gain confidence, try playing without looking at the sheet music. Trust your muscle memory to guide your fingers.
  • Daily repetition: Consistent daily practice is key to reinforcing motor memory. Revisit sections regularly to solidify your skills.

Motor memorisation cultivates a strong connection between your fingers and brain, allowing for fluid and confident piano performances.

2. Auditory memorisation 

Auditory memorisation centres around internalising the music’s sound. Follow the steps below to incorporate this technique into your practice;

  • Listen actively: Begin by actively listening to a recording of the piece you are memorising. Pay attention to the nuances of the performance, including tempo, dynamics, and phrasing.
  • Hum or sing: Try humming or singing the melody, paying close attention to the rhythm and pitch. This will help you internalise the musical phrases.
  • Mental rehearsal: Close your eyes and mentally rehearse the piece. Hear the music in your mind, focusing on each musical element and note.
  • Play by ear: Challenge yourself to play the piece on the piano without the sheet music, relying solely on your internalised auditory memory.

Auditory memorisation hones your ability to recreate the music purely by sound, allowing you to express your interpretation of the piece more deeply.

3. Visual memorisation

Visual memorisation revolves around creating a mental map of the sheet music. To employ this technique effectively, below are the ways you can do so;

  • Study the sheet music: Start by meticulously examining the sheet music. Pay close attention to articulations, dynamics, key signatures, and notes.
  • Visualise the sheet: Close your eyes and attempt to visualise the sheet music in your mind. Picture the notes on the staff, their positions on the keyboard, and any markings that indicate expression and tempo.
  • Play mentally: Imagine yourself playing the piece visually. Follow the sheet music mentally, seeing your fingers move from one key to another and feeling the dynamics and rhythm.
  • Play without looking: Now, open your eyes and play the piece on the piano without glancing at the sheet music. Begin with smaller sections and gradually expand to cover the entire piece.

Visual memorisation strengthens your connection to the sheet music and enhances your understanding of the composition’s structure.


Memorising piano music can be a challenging but rewarding endeavour. Remember that memorisation takes patience and time, so stay committed to your practice routine. With dedication and these proven tips, you will impress your audience with your piano skills in no time!

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