Yesterday, Mike posted a link to the blog of cellist who is documenting his practicing on etudes for the next few months. Check it out: http://celloetudes.tumblr.com/
Very interesting stuff and I wish more cellists would do this. This guy (can't seem to find a profile on him) is far beyond my current playing level but I was able to get some very useful ideas from his experience with his practice of the first etude, Popper #8.
This Etude Project has him performing an etude every 2 weeks with practice every day limited to 45 min. on each etude. By the 4th day, he had memorized Popper #8. I was pretty shocked by that. I've worked through about 6 or 7 of the Poppers now but the thought of memorizing any of them was never a possibility in my head. It was always hard enough for me to play them well much less try to memorize it. So as an experiment, I started the task of memorizing the current etude I was working on, Popper #19- the Lohengrin.
I'll document the practice I've done in the past 2 weeks on this etude as well as the results of the memorization effort in the next post.