Elvina L. Wilson

Adventist University of the Philippines


For musicians, performing is a way of life. They communicate through performing.  However, performances require memory recall among musicians. Although, memorizations of pieces are not necessary, performing without a piece enhances the confidence level of a performer. Most of musicians have difficulty memorizing their music pieces. Thus, this study investigated (a) the perception of pianists toward performance, (b) strategies in improving memorization, and (c) performance recall techniques among piano performers. The study purposively sampled 12 pianists who were actively performing.  Semi-structured interview with open-ended questions was carried out.  The qualitative data were recorded and transcribed. The themes were generated. The findings revealed that piano performance was perceived in various ways:  as venue for learning experience among pianists, boost confidence for exposure, a way to share music, a way to express emotions, and a key to have excellent performance. In terms of memorization strategies, the results showed that pianists used separation, repetition, listening, consistent practice, observation of the musical form, and singing the melodic line. The pianists further revealed that the kinesthetic and the combination of these memory techniques were used to enhance recall. Based from these memory techniques, the musicians determined what technique they preferred most. The challenges encountered during performance were stage fright and mental block. To overcome these challenges, prayer, presence of mind, improvised pieces, and recalling back sound through aural memory were recommended.

Keywords:memorization, performance, strategies, memory techniques, performance recall