Many young musicians are comfortable with a knowledge of key signatures up to a couple of sharps and flats only, and struggle to recall more difficult key signatures. Observing a simple connection between the sharp and flat keys of the same alphabetic letter name provides an almost instantaneous solution to remembering the more complex key signatures. Perhaps you can see this connection. Look at the sharp key and the flat key for the letter G. G-major has one sharp. G-flat major has how many flats? Repeat the exercise with another pair of alphabetic letter names such as B major and B-flat major. You will find that the sum of the sharp and flat keys for the same letter name is seven.
Noticing this simple connection provides a solution to recalling key signatures. Chunking is the secret ingredient for memory feats. Experts are great chunkers; they discover patterns to simplify their learning.
from ‘Learning Strategies for Musical Success’ by Michael Griffin
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