My first major memory project was to memorize the entire Gospel of Mark. For years, I’ve been testing different combinations of memory techniques. I want to learn texts by heart as efficiently as possible. But I also want to go beyond mere memorizing, so that the texts move me to deep thought and imagination.
Now I’m working on a book to share what I’ve learned: Memorize Mark. This book will teach you how to learn the entire Gospel of Mark by heart. And you’ll be able to use these techniques to learn other texts as well.
In my first drafts, I focused on explaining the theory of how to memorize. You would read several introductory chapters, then launch into the specially formatted text of the Gospel of Mark.
But thanks to my decision to learn Spanish by Christmas, I’ve discovered a much better way to structure a how-to book. Learn by doing.
Learn By Doing
I recently bought a pile of books for learning Spanish, and they come in two types. Learn by theory, and learn by doing.
I’ve discovered that I learn by doing.
In the past, I spent several months learning a couple thousand Spanish vocabulary words (somewhat incorrectly). But I still couldn’t make a sentence.
Then, after finding a much better way to learn a language I downloaded the free introductory lessons to SynergySpanish. Within a few minutes, I was making my own Spanish sentences. For the first time.
Then, the Assimil Spanish With Ease book (and later CDs) arrived in the mail. Once again, we dove right in. Every lesson centers around an actual dialogue. A few notes explain key concepts.
I can use this same approach in teaching how to memorize.
Memorize Step by Step
For instance, instead of reading a chapter about Bible rhythms, and why they’re so important, now you’ll begin by reading the first verse, rhythmically. Then I’ll explain the basics of how rhythm unlocks your ability to remember.
With each lesson, you’ll learn exactly what you need to know right then, so you can keep learning new verses, and reviewing what you’ve learned. Instead of reading a whole book first, you start memorizing right away.
Start Simple, Explain and Review Later
Memorizing, like Spanish, requires learning many new concepts. But with Assimil, you learn new concepts as simply as possible, and only later do you get more details. This approach both:
- Helps you focus on basics first
Automatically reviews these concepts later, when you deepen your understanding
In contrast, my original draft was laid out more like a dissertation. Each separate concept was explained in full, in its own chapter. This approach is great for a systematic exploration, but it’s inefficient for learning a new skill. Plus, there’s no built-in review.
I’m thrilled to be reworking these concepts into an approach where you learn and review as you go.
I still plan to write a book delving into the theory of this method. But I’ve finally realized that most people, including me, are mainly interested in getting started, not waiting for the perfect exposition.
Beta Testers Needed
Want to help me test these techniques? Contact me and let me know. Your feedback will improve the book tremendously.
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