I have done color guard for 6 years; color guard is the name for the flags with marching bands. I never put any thought into exactly how I was remembering everything and why different techniques for practice worked better than others. I just thought about how different practices we had could have helped us better remember the show we performed. Or how practices changed in what exactly we focused on as the season went on. The different moves and techniques we used are all part of procedural memory. While they had to be encoded into LTM and the ways in which they occurred changed as I advanced to different levels of color guard. We actually had higher levels of processing the moves and put more thought into them.
In the earliest form at my high school it was very low levels of processing just constant repetition after repetition to counts and not the music we performed to. We constantly used counts (1,2,3,4…) to correct any mistakes make any changes and everything instead of the music we were to recall the actions to. The retrieval cues were not the same as the external stimulus at the time of encoding. We were also supposed to express some emotion during performances; however we never practiced that outside of performances. So, we did not have a similar internal state at encoding and retrieval. Overtime, we constant rehearsal consolidation did occur usually just in time for finals after weeks of practice. Things were different went I joined a higher level of color guard.
While, we did learn the different moves to counts at first but we did it in small parts and applied it to the pieces of accompanied music that the work went with every time we went over new things. Due to encoding specificity we more easily recalled the information during performances due to the similarities of external stimuli at encoding and retrieval. We also were also told to express the proper emotions needed in our performances while we were practicing our work with the music. This is relevant to state-dependent learning since the internal state at encoding was (should have been) similar to the internal state of retrieval. With all of these similarities at encoding and retrieval the performance was better and easier, although it was actually more challenging moves, from my higher levels of color guard than for my last year of doing it in high school.
Goldstein, E. B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experience. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.