I make all my students memorize all their pieces. It's great for your brain. :)
I find memorizing to be easier for my students that started with me, and I think it's because I start with having them memorize Twinkle. So they get to start easy, learn how to memorize as they're learning to play, and can go from there. That being said, here's some more ideas:
1) Listen to your recording a TON. Particularly if you're an auditory learner. I can memorize a concerto before I can really play it, just by listening to it.
2) Watch your music as you're listening to it. This also helps visual learners.
3) Play your piece. This is great for kinisthetic learners.
4) I have my students learn their music in chunks. I tell them, 2 measures a day. Get those 2 measures rock solid: intonation/notes/fingerings, rhythms, and bowings. And while you're at it, memorize those 2 measures. You'll be playing it a ton anyway, might as well remove the music.
5) Every time you learn a new chunk, add it to the previous chunk, so you can play a longer portion of your piece without the music.
6) Another way: Backwards practice, or XYZ: Learn the last 2 measures of the piece, then the previous 2. Then connect them, so you can play the last 4. This makes the piece easier to play as you get closer to the end (whereas most musicians start at the beginning a ton, so that's easy, but they don't get to the end as often, so that's harder).
Hope these ideas help, and good luck! Being able to play without the music is great for musicality - have you ever closed your eyes while playing? Great fun!
This is great information I shall use, I was wondering weather I should have my eyes closed or open you answer that for me. I will try to play it with my eyes closed thanks for information!
Ashley that's great advice! However, I'm TERRIBLE at memorizing. I can't remember what I ate for dinner last night. It's hopeless for me to try to memorize a piece - especially if I have to play it in front of an audience. Maybe, if I had taken up music at a young age......