The ABCs as a Memory Tool
Memory exercises can be used as learning tools or to improve your ability to remember just about anything. There are many different techniques for remembering lists, concepts, and terms. Those that allow you to make associations between something you already know and something new are the most helpful.
For example, you can use the ABCs, something you know, as a memory tool, and associate each letter of the alphabet with something new or something you are trying to learn or remember. It takes time to make the lists from A-Z, but that is a valuable part of the learning experience.
Making the list compels you to be creative. And as a by product, you build new neuronal pathways. You could also try to make a poem out of it or set the words to music – much like you learned the ABCs as a child. You learned a song that was fun to sing. Children are learning something of fundamental importance and will remember it for the rest of their lives.
The list is also a visual reminder. People learn in different ways. Typically, it is a combination of visual, audible, and touchable or kinesthetic things that actually allow memories to be retained. We hear, see, and feel different things. Memory exercises that make use of one or more senses are effective because additional communication channels trigger brain cells to go into action.
Repetition is a well known key to memorization. Anything that is easy to memorize and repeat can aid your recall efforts.
A veterinarian friend talked about his study habits at Texas A&M – he said that ‘he would memorize until he knew that there was as strong pathway in his brain.’ Using the ABC technique to build information around a fact or series of facts, will help you build more than one path to a central theme or idea. How much more valuable is that than a single path?
Another effective memory tool is to take something simple and associate it with something more complex. Again, we have the example of the ABCs. The ABCs are simple, just a long list of letters that we learned during childhood. You can attach a complex concept or larger word to each of the single letters. You will be building an “association”. That’s what better memory exercises are all about.