Memorizing hymns


I have started to memorizy finish hymn book. It has 632 hymns and i have now created a memory journey (memory palace) for it. First goal is to remember title and number of each hymn and I think that I can do it.

Some problems:

  1. What is best way remember first verses?
  2. Each hymn has different amount of verses. How can I remember how many verses each hymn has?
    3)verses has lot of same kind of words and idioms. How can I manage with it?


Way to go on this goal! It has been a project I’ve been thinking about for many years.

I have a question about the project: Why did you decide to do this project? Is it primarily for the contents of the hymns, or primarily as a memory exercise? Time is a finite resource, so the answer to that question would direct how you focus your energy on the project. For instance, if you are primarily wanting to know the hymns and get the benefit of the content, I would not spend very much time on mnemonic structure and instead just sing them! Melody is a time-tested mnemonic device already.

Again, go for it and keep us posted on your progress!

(Josh Cohen) #3
  1. Did the method mentioned here not work well enough?

  2. Do you have a memory system for numbers? If not, the major system is a good place to start. Once you have images for numbers from 00-99, then you could use an image to store the number of verses. For example, if it’s 12 verses (sorry if that number is off – I’m not familiar with the music), you could use an image of a tuna fish (12 in the major system) to represent the number.

  3. Could you post a few examples?


I remember hymns and words from childhood which I have not sung since. Music and melody are powerful memory tools as said above, so just sing as many as possible, if it is the words you wish to remember.


What a project to take on! What hymnal are you doing?

To remember the first line, I think you just need a picture that reminds you of that line. I wouldn’t try to come up with an image that corresponds to every jot and tittle in the line; just an image that makes you say, “Oh yeah, that’s it!”

I don’t think it’s necessary to remember the number of verses until you start memorizing the hymn. Though, to separate out verses, I have started by creating X number of journeys that begin with the central image for the hymn, going in X number of directions. That helps me keep them straight. However, number of verses is far less important than getting the hymns down.

If you find that there are a lot of similar lines and verses (which is a problem with me and my study of ancient Hebrew right now for the project I’m doing), I offer a suggestion: make the image different every time. For example, if there is the word “city,” don’t use the same image of a city over and over, but use a different one. Perhaps one is a small city, another a large city, one is an ancient city with walls, another with a lot of roads, one has few skyscrapers, one has many, one with much traffic, one with little, etc. I’m doing Hebrew memorization, but I can only use the words melek and nathan and yashav in so many sentences before they all bleed into one another.

But then again, the memory champs here for numbers and cards are using the same images over and over and over all the time. Perhaps they have a different opinion, or insight they can offer?


I just realized I’m a day late to this thread.