I’ll have to admit I take pride in the fact that I’m the only person in over 100 years to invent new memory techniques. Why? Because I’m a serious advocate of developing real study skills that will not only help you get better grades, but will actually help you to learn.
Memory training as an art form goes back to Ancient Greece and Socrates. At its origin memory skills were the tools of elder statesmen and priests. Because ancient methods of recording information was not as sophisticated or permanent as today’s methods ancient educators used song and verse or reciting as a way of memorizing and sharing. As time went by it became less of a science and more the territory of mentalists who performed tricks of memory on stage. Their goal was to impress an audience pretending they were psychic. Over the years they’ve developed more memory tricks to entertain their audiences but none over the last 100 years has developed any new techniques that can actually be taught as a skill for improved learning or that are very practical for everyday use.
Here are 5 improved memory techniques that can be used to ‘learn how to learn.’ Each one of them is a part of the Farrow Memory System.
1. A Color Spectrum for memorizing numbers. This isn’t a totally new technique but I use a method called ‘stringing’ where most others use ‘linking.’ I teach students and executives how to use my technique in a way that’s practical, meaningful and will help them with studies memorize vast amounts of numbers.
2. Teaching based on memory personalities. This is a new method for teaching memory skills based on how you remember best. Just like we all have a learning style we also have a style for memorizing. This technique helps each student discover their own memory personality so that more readily ‘get’ each of the other memory techniques taught.
3. The numeric spectrum and phonetic peg list used by many memory experts led me to a technique for memorizing foreign terms. I teach students how to take a visual peg list and apply to a phonetic alphabet and take a sound and turn it into colors. The technique involves using substitute words and the alpha spectrum to turn extra sounds in complex words into colors that are added to the substitute word. Explaining it is actually harder than doing it and it’s a technique that really works.
4. Because I have ADHD and dyslexia techniques for Focus are a must. To help myself stay focused, over the years I’ve perfected a FOCUS BURST method of studying that not only helps with information retention, but also trains the brain to become more focused.
5. One of my favorites is a technique for remembering physical movement using the color spectrum. I’ve used this technique to remember dance and martial arts moves.
Bonus number 6. I’ve developed a technique using a visual peg list that no one else has used including codes for cards. I use a visual peg list instead of the sounds that were used previously in other methods. It involves taking the number and the suit and turn it into an image in your mind. Using this technique you can learn faster. Of course this is something that the card magicians don’t want you to learn because you’ll steal their trick. I label this one a bonus because to some it’s debatable whether or not this is a new technique. The code I use is different than others, so it could be considered just a new take on an old technique.
I mention these techniques because I want you to see that memory skills can be applied to many different subject areas in both school and life. When applied to study you run into difficulties using them but they can all be resolved by a qualified memory teacher. I’m in the process of developing additional techniques for specific subjects. Other so-called “memory experts” have gone in the direction of competition and improving the magic tricks – but I’m just not much into the parlor tricks. My goal is to make you smarter and not just help you impress your friends. The many tricks that are out there get lots of publicity but are not applicable in the real world. The techniques I share with college students and business people are meant to be a real ‘call-to-action’ for improving memory and brain function for a lifetime.