The web link above is a brief description of some studies carried out at Mc Gill University by Prof. Caroline Palmer. In connection to the chapter on performance from Jourdain’s book, it is clear that the brain works on different areas or aspects simultaneously when memorizing, or recalling music from memory; Palmer mentions that the motors skills take a significant part in the process of recalling music from memory, as well as, music that falls more naturally on the fingers, or that fingers have some familiarity with the nature of such music, is easier to memorize.
I have always had the worst musical memory and therefore have been interested in how this thing works. From what I read so far, I conclude that the development of musical memory is similar to the different learning styles that music education insists so much in the UK. As teachers we’ve been constantly advised to cater for the three learning styles, visual, aural and kinaesthetic. It seems that three styles are in operation in the process of memorization, with one of the three as a prominent skill that the learner falls back on.
In regards to music, given its aural nature, it gives the impression that we value the aural skill over the other two; at least, this is what I gather from Jourdain’s accounts on virtuosi. In my opinion, his accounst tent to be rather biases towards the traditional standards. As drummer Kenowwod Dennard from Berklee College of Music mentions, we need a new kind of virtuosity at this point in time; especially, when music education is trying to present itself as inclusive.