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How Do You Learn Theory Terms ?


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#1 Guest: skylark_*

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:47

I'm sure when I was at school, I had techniques for learning foreign language vocabularies but I seem to have forgotten what these were huh.gif I take the view that "theory terms are for life, not just for exams", so I want to learn them so that they stay in my memory.

I keep a few terms in my signature to remind me, and I have yellow stickers dotted around the house. But what other techniques do people use?
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#2 Guest: Miss Ross_*

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:25

I find connections with english/french/latin words which trigger my memory when trying to find the right word. Putting them into 'logical' groupings seems to help as well, and I try to memorise them in those groups, sort of like a poem...

More recently though, I have taken to reading your profile for guidance tongue.gif.
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#3 Nocturne

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:45

I usually try to find pieces (or passages) where the terms are used, and connect those to the term. But I can't really memorize anything without a concrete example.
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#4 Guest: petrat_*

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:58

Each of my students has a note book that is used at each lesson to make notes of work to be done before the next one. In the back we have a terms and signs section into which we write every new sign or word that crops up in anything that they play. When the notebook is full the pupil has the task of copying out the list into the new book. Sometimes we have wrodsearch games and these are added to the list to. If they find a term difficult to remember I use silly word assosiations. For example, for pesante we think of peasants in big heavy boots. Many years ago I wrote a long poem to help students to remember these terms. It began:
Slowly and stately goes Largo the elephant, trundling over the jungle he goes,
When all of a sudden he sees presto mouse, who is being very quick on the tips of his toes.

As verse it is rubbish, but as a memory aid it was great!
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#5 AnotherPianist

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 11:26

Make up a little silly story or an image to go with the words, if you use your associative memory they'll stick much better.

For example, pauken is timpani, so one could imagine a pig sat playing timpani; or perhaps pork being barbequed on said instrument. Rascher is faster, so maybe a rasher of bacon has grown legs and is running faster and faster. The sillier the stories and more vivid the images the better for remembering (and of course, the more entertaining the learning of the terms is wink.gif).

More obscure ones with less direct images can be trickier to memorise, it's a case of twisting things the way your mind works: beweget for example, when I see that I think of bewedded, and imagine a married couple getting very agitated in a row with each other: and agitated is what the AB say this term means. That analogy may not work for you, it's best if you create something yourself as you're more likely to remember the link, and try to avoid getting the analogy to be too obscure. Forum members choosing these names helps us to: we could imagine andante_in_c going out for a walk, for examle, to remember the meaning of andante.

If one can spot word roots that's a great way of working out what words mean too smile.gif.

One can have quite good fun inventing silly ways of remembering terms, and they do stick (you can even use rude ones if you like as you don't have to tell them to anyone wink.gif biggrin.gif). Thinking of silly ways of remembering terms might even be an interesting thread biggrin.gif.
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#6 Guest: Miss Ross_*

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 14:29

laugh.gif I got a fright when I saw my name in your signature skyers! I can't PM at the moment, otherwise I would tongue.gif, but here you go...

Affetuoso - Tenderly (Affectionate)
Calando - Getting softer, dying away, sometimes accompanied by a decrease in tempo... (Coming to the end of the calendar year! ph34r.gif)
Giustu - Exact (Augustus Caesar made rules which had to be kept to exactly...)
L'istesso - The same (A list, a copy)
Niente - Nothing (Sounds quite similar anyway, or 'nay' from Scots)
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#7 briantrumpet

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 14:56

For students, I've made up sets of paired cards, one set of the foreign terms, and one set for the English terms (using different coloured cards for foreign & English). Then I've got them playing the card game 'pairs' (what our family ponsily called Pelmonism, I think), with the aid of a list of the terms. So you put all the cards face down on the table, and in turn, a player turns over one card, and then tries to turn over the card with the correct definition. If correct, they take the 'trick', and turn over two more cards, etc. If incorrect, the next player does the same, etc. The player with the most tricks wins. The nice thing is that you keep on having to refer to the list to start with, but after you've done it a few times, you start to remember. You can vary the rules as you like to make it more challenging.
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#8 mikeyc

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 15:11

QUOTE(petrat @ Aug 28 2007, 11:58 AM) View Post

Each of my students has a note book that is used at each lesson to make notes of work to be done before the next one. In the back we have a terms and signs section into which we write every new sign or word that crops up in anything that they play. When the notebook is full the pupil has the task of copying out the list into the new book. Sometimes we have wrodsearch games and these are added to the list to. If they find a term difficult to remember I use silly word assosiations. For example, for pesante we think of peasants in big heavy boots. Many years ago I wrote a long poem to help students to remember these terms. It began:
Slowly and stately goes Largo the elephant, trundling over the jungle he goes,
When all of a sudden he sees presto mouse, who is being very quick on the tips of his toes.

As verse it is rubbish, but as a memory aid it was great!



That is really really helpful. Pesante was in the last Grade 5 theory exam. I didn't spend too much time and effort on terms as they weren't worth many marks anyway, but this would have helped me tremendously. I didn't have a teacher. I did learn many terms (which didn't come up on the exams) but with this method I would never have forgotten meanings for the rest of my life, not merely for the exams. I shall remember this. My sister learns the words on the Brain Training by this method and it definitely works.
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#9 Guest: skylark_*

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 20:34

I like the idea of making up card games, and also making up stories, particularly if they're in verse format because I could try writing some music to go with it so that would be my composition project as well. Thanks for the ideas smile.gif


QUOTE(AnotherPianist @ Aug 28 2007, 12:26 PM) View Post

Thinking of silly ways of remembering terms might even be an interesting thread biggrin.gif.

That would be a great thread! Are you going to start it??? biggrin.gif Maybe not just theory terms cos I've got a VERY silly way of remembering key signatures ph34r.gif


QUOTE(Miss Ross @ Aug 28 2007, 03:29 PM) View Post

laugh.gif I got a fright when I saw my name in your signature skyers!

You'll see what score you got from my new signature biggrin.gif Oh and a new test!


QUOTE(mikeyc @ Aug 28 2007, 04:11 PM) View Post

That is really really helpful.

Glad you've found it useful mikey cos I remember you were really disheartened after your result. Keep up the good work smile.gif
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#10 piello

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 10:22

I write a mini 'dictionary' of them all then get someone to test me. I make a list of the ones i dont know and write the english on one Post-it and the foreign on another for each term. Then i put the english on one side of a door and the foreign on the other and every time i go into that room/cupboard etc. i have to say what's on the other side.
It helped me learn them; i used to associate each term with different rooms etc. now i've forgotten the rooms but remembered most of the terms.

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#11 fiddle_freak

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 18:23

My non musical friends get annoyed because i start using the terms in everyday life whenever I can, tis v. funny

like oh no the computers running at lento speed!!!

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#12 sbhoa

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 19:00

Not quite (but almost) related.... Does anybody know the meaning of Largo as part of a street name in Italy?
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#13 boogiecat

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 20:32

You can make almost all of them related - one of my students told me that allegro is easy becauses of quick "legs" - whatever works for you.

I learned them by getting the pink book and in any car journeys (when I wasn't behind the wheel) sat down and read through them. Sometimes concentrating on 10 or so sometimes just reading through, they tend to stick if you drive far enough! Even better if you have a chump to quiz you - much less painful than playing yellow car!
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#14 sbhoa

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 20:36

QUOTE(sbhoa @ Aug 29 2007, 08:00 PM) View Post

Not quite (but almost) related.... Does anybody know the meaning of Largo as part of a street name in Italy?



QUOTE(boogiecat @ Aug 29 2007, 09:32 PM) View Post

You can make almost all of them related - one of my students told me that allegro is easy becauses of quick "legs" - whatever works for you.


No, I don't want to know how to remember what largo means as a musical instruction..... I want to know what it means as part of a street name in Italy.
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#15 boogiecat

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 20:44

"No, I don't want to know how to remember what largo means as a musical instruction..... I want to know what it means as part of a street name in Italy."

I was replying to the original post.

Largo as part of a street name means highway or byway - nothing to do with how I would recognise it for music. This is the case with a lot of Italian terms I think - they don't really mean what they do in the musical sense.
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