In this article, you will find 4 methods + 2 tips for learning a text by heart easily.
Learning a text by heart can be scary when you start to become an actor. Yet this is not the hardest to become an actor. Everyone has his way of doing things, the main thing is that it comes back!
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How to learn a text by heart: The written method
Rewrite your text by hand while saying the text at the same time as you write it
This method is not essential to learn a text by heart but it is effective. This forces you to take the time to focus on each word by bringing into play different parts of the brain (speech, writing, reading). Writing also slows down the thought process and allows the imagination to make associations of ideas on each word.
Preferably use a blue pen. According to some studies, the blue color favors memorization.
How to learn a text by heart: The method of key ideas
Divide the text into key ideas and remember the sequence of these ideas. Use striking images for these ideas
When you have to learn a text by heart, it is better to divide it into small paragraphs that correspond to a key idea. It’s easier to learn these key ideas to remember different parts of the text. You can also divide each paragraph into key ideas.
Memory works with the imagination. By using strong and striking images for the key ideas of the text, you will remember it more easily.
Look for words in the text that immediately conjure up an image for you and use them to memorize the text. Some words have strong evocative power. They immediately put pictures in the head. Both use it as points of support to retain the text.
Represent yourself in space.
If the text evokes places or people, represent them in space.
For example, if I tell you about the Eiffel Tower, you have an idea of where it is in relation to you. This is also the case if I tell you about your mother. Even if its location in relation to you is inaccurate or even false, you have an idea. Besides, that’s the surprise when you think that one person is in one place and you see another.
This must be valid for your character as well. To learn a text by heart, locate each object, place, and person in the space around you.
How to learn a text by heart: the voice method
Learn line by line aloud, without intonation
When we put the intonation in learning a text, we have the impression to retain it more easily. But as soon as one changes the intentions and recites them in another context, the text escapes from the memory. It is better to learn your text without intonation aloud to draw the lips to pronounce it. Then it’s easier to put different intentions behind.
Read the first line aloud (without intonation), then hide and recite it. Then read the first and the second, then hide them and recite. Then read from beginning to third, then hide and recite, and so on until the end. You can do that for each paragraph, then try again for the entire text.
Use muscle memory
Say the text as quickly as possible and pay attention to the joint to train the muscles of the mouth. After a certain number of repetitions, you will realize that it is your mouth that says the words without you thinking about it, a little as if your muscles acted reflexively.
This is the safest way to learn a text by heart easily. It requires discipline and repetition but it allows to know the text on the lips.
How to learn a text by heart: the audio method
Save the text and listen to it
Hearing a text involves a completely different process than reading it. Some people who are more auditory can learn a text by heart more easily when they hear it than when they read it. If this is your case, save yourself and then loop your text!
At first, listen carefully to the text to focus your memory and your imagination on it. Then you can let it loop while you do something else.
You can use free Audacity software on eg computer or dictaphone.
2 Tip to learn a text by heart:
Put a baroque musical background
Research has shown that Baroque music helps to memorize and learn a text by heart more easily. You can use baroque music in the background to stimulate the right brain linked to the imagination. To test if you like baroque music!
You can learn a text by heart while sitting and forget it as soon as you start moving. Moving brings oxygen to the brain and forces one to be more focused on learning the text.
Of course, you can combine these methods to learn a text by heart even more easily.
How to check that you know your text by heart:
Try to recite it by doing physical activity (juggling, storage, sport …)
To make sure you know your text, try something else that requires your attention and forces you to move while you recite it. For example by doing the dishes, juggling, drawing, etc …
Save only your partner’s text, leaving blank for you
Recite your text using a dictaphone to give you the answer. You will be able to verify that you know your text but also that you know how to say it at the right moment.
To be really sure of knowing it and being able to recite it naturally, do it while you’re doing a physical activity.
This is the English version of this article : Comment apprendre un texte par coeur rapidement.