Know the power of Muscle Memory!

How many of us have stage fright?

Or

How many of us do not have stage fright? How did we overcome that?

Muscle Memory!!!

Let’s start by understanding these things first

Motor skills 

Motor skills are movements and actions of the muscles

Memory types

  • Long-Term Memory
  • Short-Term Memory

Long-term memory types

  • Explicit Memory
  • Implicit Memory
  • Autobiographical Memory

Implicit memory

Implicit memory is a major form of long-term memory that does not require conscious thought. It allows you to do things by rote.

A few examples of implicit memory

  • Recalling the words to a song when someone sings the first few words
  • Riding a bike
  • Driving a car
  • Buttoning a shirt
  • Completing tasks that are a routine part of a familiar job, such as sanding for a carpenter or chopping onions for a chef
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Typing on a keyboard

And now let’s relate it to music.

There is a word that musicians and learners always say and hear all the time.

“P R A C T I C E”

It means if we keep repeating certain tasks on a musical instrument, that skill is registered in the brain as a subconscious memory and whenever we need to do the same task, we would not need the same attention and consciousness to perform that.  This helps a great deal for musicians. 

How? Be it exams or live concerts or playing to your music teacher, your finger/hand moves as and when required if you have practiced enough!!!  Please do try and see.

Wiki says “When a movement is repeated over time, long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed with little to no conscious effort. This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems.”

And now the most interesting question…

How long does it take to develop Muscle Memory?

There are lots of theories around this.  

One convincing idea that I have come across is this.  Practice till you don’t make any mistake and do not stop practicing when you get the song/piece for the first time. Practice till you can’t go wrong.  

Then you can say it to yourself, how long it took!

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