When planning lessons, try to end your lesson on the most important message.

Here’s why: When we learn something, our brains subconsciously continue to process the material for hours afterward. And we’ll devote more of that
mental energy to the last thing we were asked to learn.

That’s the upshot of a recent study.

Musicians were first asked to learn a short melody. They had 12 minutes to practice it. Then they were tested on it. The next morning, they were tested again.

Results: Trainees performed about 13% better on the morning after. Researchers concluded students were processing info all night. That led to improvement without any subsequent practice.

In a second group, musicians were given a second melody to learn. In the morning, the students showed no improvement on the first melody. The second melody interfered with post-training processing.

Source: Allen S. (2012). Memory stabilization and enhancement following music practice. Psychology of Music. DOI: 10.1177/0305735612463947.

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