Muscle Memory: Not Just for Professionals

muscle memory

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you are playing a piece, your fingers just start playing without you really having to think about what you are doing? That’s because you have developed muscle memory for that particular piece. Your fingers have essentially “memorized” how to play that particular section of the song. In her article, Grace Lam from Artiden answers the question, “Muscle Memory: Only for ‘Smart Musicians?’

Using Muscle Memory to Help You

  1. Correct any mistake right away, whether it’s technique, posture, or memorization.
  2. Use flow to help you learn skills more quickly.
  3. Be patient. Developing muscle memory means being diligent and consistent on a certain skill before it requires less effort and concentration.

These tips that Grace gives on muscle memory are great for making sure you are learning a piece correctly and effectively from the get-go. You absolutely want to be sure you are correcting any mistakes you make as soon as you notice them, because once your muscles remember something incorrectly, it can be quite difficult going back to correct it later. You also want to be patient. In order for your muscles to “memorize” a certain piece or section of a piece, you are going to have to play it over and over until it sticks. But, have no worries. Once you have taken the time and your muscles start to remember a piece, it’s amazing what you can go on to do with dynamics, phrasing, and overall musicality. You’ll be a virtuoso in no time!

Grace is a pianist who helps people create a smarter practice routine using psychology techniques. Her blog, Artiden, features her personal experiences as well as lessons in leadership and musicianship. To learn more about muscle memory, please visit the original article here:

Cassidy is the Digital Marketing Manager at Making Music and has recently begun her career in the music industry. In May 2017, she graduated from the Crane School of Music with a double degree in Music Business and Music Theory. Upon graduating college, Cassidy did an internship with DANSR, Inc. in Illinois before moving to Southern California where she was the NAMM intern for six months. Her favorite instrument is the clarinet, but she also enjoys dabbling with guitar, piano, ukulele, saxophone, and flute.

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