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Listen to the short song “Old piano” from a good Russian film Jazzman (Мы из джаза), the Soviet version of a musical. The story follows the personal evolution of the 20-year-old conservatory student, who was expeled from school because he loves jazz. The film is tracing the origin, hard times and rise of a jazz quartet from the late 1920's in Odessa to the 1960's in Moscow -- at the time when jazz was declared a sing of Western decadence.

Try to use jazz as a memory booster. The jazz rhythms are syncopated, meaning they contain unexpected accents. The irregular accents of a syncopated jazz line mimic the patterns of the ordinary speech. Moreover, syncopation creates a rhythmic surprise that helps better memorization. Adding body percussion such as clapping, stomping or patting your knees at times in the songs can help to emphasize certain lyric information.

This song has obvious lyric and melodic phrases, which you may want to remember. For example: всё время молчит и на меня не смотрит; может вы в меня влюбились; а вот вы мне нравитесь; пригласите меня на танец; дрожать от страха; но пойми ты; в жизни теперь другие ритмы; конечно, трудно сразу привыкнуть; мне тебя немного жаль; улетает из сердца тоска; со мной он разделит и грусть и печаль.

You can also use the lyrics and harmony of the song effectively. When jazz is performed at slower tempos, the use of short, accented offbeats at the ends of phrases allow you to add a new word or expression you needa to remember. As the lyric phrase is repeated many times, providing more emphasis for important information, it is most likely the melody will add advantage and be a cue to make words and phrases more memorable.

Where you would normally use index cards to practice something you need to memorize, could you make your own song?

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