repetition in music

Brian May

We will, we will rock you! Rock you! We will, we will rock you! Rock you!…

Why does music repeat so much? When you see it written down it’s not very cool, is it?

We have an answer from the wonderful people at TED, thanks to Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis.

One and again, one and again…

The part of your brain we share with all mammals on Earth is called the limbic system.  Deeper than your conscious, resides the wolf inside us.

And mammals show a vast range of different scales when we refer to intelligence, but there’s something common among most of them. Repetition works real well in learning.

And with the repetition the limbic systems triggers emotions and a good feeling every time you get the same input.

Long term memory

Do you know where we store our long-term memories? In the limbic system, of course… where else would you?

So, crystal clear… if the limbic system mainly works with repetition and it triggers emotions that will help us to long-term remembering… Repetition is a blessing when it comes to learning!

Understand – Memorize – Use

In order to get a proper learning, whatsoever, following these three steps will make us learn, definitely.

Firstly, you need to understand, because you are not a seal repeating a circus trick until it becomes second nature. You are a human being and you need to get things explained and understood, ’cause that’s what humans do.

Secondly, you need to know that the fact that you’ve understood something does not imply you will remember it in the future. Comprehension is our human nature and it resides in our neo-cortex and cortex, where the long-term memory is not. So if you want to memorize something you need to locate it in the limbic system. How? Repeating, and repeating, and repeating…

Why would you want to learn to multiply if you never multiply? Unless you use what you’ve learnt, you haven’t really learnt anything at all.

Music and languages

Specifically talking about languages, we’re luckier than any other subjects’ students, as music uses language and repetition. So sing along!

Find a song that uses the bit of grammar you’re learning on a second language, take the broom as a guitar, locate yourself in front of the mirror and..

We will, we will rock you!

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