Many of us have memories of elementary or middle school days when we were standing in front of the class to nervously recite a poem or monologue. Maybe it was the Gettysburg Address or lines of Shakespeare? Whatever it was, the practice of memorization is one that has long been a part of our education. However, in recent years memorization has taken a lot of heat for impeding students’ creative and analytical skills. Though those skills are incredibly important, memorization can still play a critical role in learning and brain development. Below are the top ten reasons to continue memorizing at all stages of life.
Memorization means information is always with you
By memorizing information the knowledge is yours to keep and recall at all times. Through memorization, the brain is trained to retain information more fully and effectively. Memorization also increases your own personal database of facts to draw from at anytime, letting you impress your friends and teachers. The more information you have memorized, the less you have to Google, and the more impressive and comfortable you look in conversation. Most importantly, memorizing facts and information will help you gain more knowledge to have for your own benefit.
Memorization exercises your brain
As too many of us know from missing a week, a month, or maybe even one too many years at the gym, it’s entirely too easy to lose muscle without regular use. The same is true for the brain. The brain is essentially like a muscle, and it gets exercised when we put forth the effort to memorize new facts and synthesize information. When we are not regularly challenging our minds, it’s abilities will diminish. However, when we are constantly pushing our brains to do more and hold onto more information, it will, just like our endurance improves with consistent running or our strength increases with regular lifting. So get your brain in shape.
Memorization improves neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and grow throughout our lives. Regular learning and memorization allows the brain to never stop changing, which is a great thing. Memorization actually improves the neuroplasticity of the brain. Over a lifetime the brain is capable of reorganizing itself as it gathers new information by creating new neural connections. This allows the mind to respond and adjust to new environments or knowledge. The more you’re memorizing and taking in, the more your brain is growing and improving.
Memorization is important for creativity
Some may argue that memorization inhibits an individual’s creativity; however, the opposite is true. When a person has information memorized, the mind becomes freed up to the mind to think more creatively, expressively, and freely. The more experience and knowledge you have to draw from, the more information and expertise you have to piece together in any creative pursuits. So make some extra room in your brain!
Memorization teaches the brain to remember
Memorizing lines of poetry or song lyrics may seem like a simple task, but it can be an incredible aid to help you in the future. Memorizing rather than cramming information helps your brain become more accustomed to retaining information at an ever increasing level. Just as with in anything in life, the more you practice the easier it will become. The more often you train your brain to remember, the more it will be able to remember. Memorizing is a great tool to expand your knowledge and the limits of the brain.
Memorization enhances your capacity for future learning.
Each time you develop a new skill your brain creates what is called a learning or memory schema. This is a mental concept in our minds that is made by our life experiences and new information. The brain relies on that schema to help you learn and accomplish new tasks in the future. If your brain has already memorized the information, your capacity to create and develop schemas will significantly improve, allowing you to learn and retain more and more. Memorization will let you create more connections now and later.
Memorization helps students practice focus
The more you memorize and the younger you start memorizing information has a significant impact on your ability to focus on tasks. Whether it’s work at the office, studying at home for personal enjoyment, or cramming for finals your freshman year of college, focus is essential and difficult to master. The practice of memorization trains your mind to focus on the task before you. The better focus you have the more you can learn and the more you can achieve in the long run. So if you are having trouble focusing, try memorizing more information.
Memorization prevents cognitive decline
Memorization isn’t just a habit to develop during grade school, but is a habit that should be used throughout your life. Research has shown that by regularly going through memorization exercises, you can postpone cognitive decline by years keeping you alert longer. The sharper your mind remains functions the higher quality of life you will be able to maintain and enjoy. Keep your mind sharp by memorizing your favorite song or poem.
Memorization of poetry teaches rhythmic patterns
Believe it or not, the nursery rhymes that were recited to you as a kid and maybe memorized yourself will benefit both your writing and creative skills. These rhymes teach your brain the importance of symmetry and balance, allowing you to create and appreciate similar work yourself. Maybe memorization will even help you become the next best poet.
Memorization improves problem solving
Using memorization for problem solving is another contested point by many. It is often used as an argument against memorization in general. But, if you don’t have the knowledge and know-how stored already, you will regret it the day you need it and you will be left searching for a solution. The more you know the more you can solve, and memorization is to thank.
Whether you’re still a student or just looking to improve yourself, take advantage of the benefits of memorization. Your brain and future-self will thank you.