If you did the exercise on “What kind of learner are you?” you may have discovered that you are an auditory learner. If you noticed the hum of boats, the clunk of chairs, the roar of the ocean, the announcers on the radio, then you remembered sounds. You may have remembered more of the sounds than the color of the umbrellas or the chairs outside the store.
You are primarily auditory if you are a musician or a singer. Auditory learners are good at making speeches because their voices are even toned and expressive at the same time. When they talk to people, they use expressions such as “I hear you” or “That does not click with me.”
As an auditory learner, you probably fared well at school—that is if you were in school in the 1980s and before. At that time, almost all school instruction was in lecture form. Before computers and PowerPoint, school was lecturing—where the teacher spoke, and the students took notes. If a student had a question, they asked, and it was answered verbally. The only visuals were the outlines written in chalk on the blackboards and an occasional film.
I am not an old conservative curmudgeon advocating this type of learning. Improvements in education were made when the schools began catering to different learning styles. This included more PowerPoint and worksheets for the visual learners. It included more hands-on learning for the kinesthetic learners.
Although I expressed the advantages of being a visual learner in the last essay, auditory learners have their own advantages.
Before, I discussed the advantages of elaborative rehearsal over rote rehearsal. For a quick review: Rote rehearsal is when you repeat the information and hope that it sticks. Elaborative rehearsal is doing the exercises of imagination as described in the previous articles. I also recommended that you combine both types for most recall.
Rote rehearsal works better for auditory learners to improve their memory. When you recite something loud, the sound stays in your mind for a generally longer period than a picture. Auditory learners repeat the sound longer than the other types. For some auditory learners, the use of rote rehearsal may be enough.
Here is an example of remembering names (it shows how auditory learners would process the information differently than visual): Imagine four children came by—Billy, Mary, Pat, and Jake. Billy carried a baby goat, Mary a baby lamb, Pat a cat, and Jake a snake.
The visual learner would picture the children as looking like people they know with those names. They would picture the animals with the people they know and create the visual scene.
An auditory learner would make rhymes to connect the animals with the names. First, they would rhyme Pat and cat, Jake and snake. For Billy, they would think of three goats with him like the children’s story “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Finally, they would play the song “Mary Had A Little Lamb” to remember Mary.
Auditory people are frequently music buffs. The best learning tool for auditory learners who like music is to put the information they need to learn to music. My niece Julia is a beautiful and brilliant young lady (no bias here). When she was nine years old, she memorized the states of the United States of America in alphabetical order by putting them to music. I asked her if the tune was to anything else, and she said it was an original tune, and she was unaware if it had other lyrics. Yet you could pick a song that you already know and write a parody of the song. The parody should contain the information that you need to remember.
When you were a teenager, did you ever make up parodies of favorite songs with rewritten lyrics? (Or if you are now a teenager; do you do it?) Maybe you changed the lyrics of a song you knew to make fun of a friend or a kid you did not like.
Her is an example of an exercise where you put the information you need to learn a song that you know: Let’s imagine you need to learn CPR for your job. You are 50 years old, so you grew up in the ’70s. You decide to put the basics of first aid and CPR to the tune of the 1971 hit “Joy to The World” by Three Dog Night. If you don’t know that song, you can download it to your iTunes, iPod, or phone. It is a catchy tune. Have fun with this. First, we will create a new title.
Breath to the Victim
If you see an injured person
You need to see if you may help
And if they say yes, you will give them CPR
If they don’t, call 911
If they can’t answer, you give them some help
First, wash your hands
Or put on rubber gloves
Then you call for help until they say “Hang up”
Then you assess the problem
Check the scene to see if it’s safe
Shout, “Are you okay?”
Check to see if the person is breathing or not
If they are not, give them CPR
Look for bleeding burns, broken bones, or bites
Make sure the person
Is lying on their back
Move all the clothes right out of the way
Pull heel of hand on the breastbone
Push straight down
At least two inches
At one hundred compressions a minute
After each compression, let the chest come up
To its normal position
Give fifteen compressions
Then you check their breathing
Put a hand on the forehead
And other fingers on the bony part of the chin
Tilt head back and lift the chin
Pinch the nose closed
Take a breath and cover the mouth
Give two breaths with the chest rise
If you don’t know these songs, then pick songs you do know. Try putting the information you need to know and substitute the lyrics. Maybe you are a millennial, and you like Lady Gaga or Justin Timberlake. Taylor Swift had a lot of familiar songs you could use. Suppose you just had a romantic breakup where you are angry at the person. You don’t feel up to studying. So, for a laugh, use “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”; this might give you a laugh as you make a parody of that song for your school work. Memorize your biology facts to “A Perfectly Good Heart.”
Now let’s do an exercise to a song you already know. For this exercise, you will need your notebook, pen, iPad, or computer.
Step 1 – Write down the information that you need to know or print it from word or the website it is on. Say it aloud as you write it.
Step 2 – You know the tune of the song that you are going to use. Write down the song parody using the information. It will be best if you do not think of this as a chore. Have fun with it.
Step 3 – If you are alone, sing it a few times. Find the song on your iPod or mp3 player and sing along with your new lyrics. Look at your cheat sheet the first few times. Then try singing along without the cheat sheet. You will find it easy to memorize your new information that you have put to song.
Step 4 – It is your option if you are going to use the same song to memorize different facts. You might think that using the same song would confuse you. Yet when you put the information together and get used to playing it in your head, the information will just flow. You will associate it.
If you are one of those people who knows the lyrics to 100 or more songs, you have many options. You might be a student who goes through a semester and uses a different song for everything you need to memorize for the entire semester. Go for it!
Although music is an excellent way for an auditory person to develop their memory, it is not the only way. Anything that you can still hear in your head will stick. For example, if you memorized some of the dialogue in a movie, you can hear it in your head from when you watched the movie. Maybe you record the information and burn it into a CD. Then you learn it when you drive or play it when you are around the house. All these aids are excellent for an auditory learner. You can buy auditory learning aids or download the audio information from Amazon.
For review, as an auditory learner, you have an advantage when you are taught in lecture style. You can use rote memorization more effectively than visual or kinesthetic learners. You hear the words and facts, and they stay in your head longer. Rhyming sounds are a good way for you to learn. You can learn well by putting facts to music. If you are a student, or you need to memorize something for work, you fare well when you record the notes and play them in the car or in the house. You probably will not mind listening to your own voice, as you have a good speaking voice anyway.
Our next article will focus on ways you can improve your memory if you are a kinesthetic learner.
It appears you meant this:
If you did the exercise on “Discovering Your Learning Style,” you …