Musical memory…is there such a thing?
I’ve heard of muscle memory. How a person can hop on a bicycle despite any recent pedaling and still take a spin as if they rode yesterday.
A couple of years ago, my hubby bought me an electric piano or keyboard. I don’t know what you call it; I just play it. My fingers hadn’t touched a piano for close to 30 years. And, I resumed playing rather easily. Sure, I had to focus and write down the names of some of the notes on the sheet music. But, the ol’ brain retained the musical knowledge.
Life is busy. It seems I play mostly around the Christmas season these days. Each year, I tell myself I must start earlier next year in order to learn new songs. Maybe even the music of Vince Guaraldi. You know, the scores from the Peanuts Christmas special where Schroeder plays on his tiny piano. That music is difficult! But, the challenge is worth it.
Well, this year I remembered mid-November of my desire to practice piano again. I don’t own a lot of sheet music so it was no surprise I stumbled across two of Dad’s favorites’: Ave Maria and Ode to Joy.
I’m a bashful pianist. I play for my family only. Before a piano recital as a youngster, I even started sleep walking from stress about it. That’s my confidence level.
I remember playing Ode to Joy for Mom and Dad in the past. Dad made a point of telling me it was a chosen hymn for his funeral. It made me uncomfortable at the time, to think Dad would ever leave us.
Well, it’s been six weeks now since Dad’s sudden passing at the age of 94. When I play these two favourite songs, I make sure to hit all the right notes. I use special effects so the piano sounds like a church organ for a certain angel to hear in Heaven. It doesn’t make me sad at all. On the contrary, I feel a blissful peace. True joy from playing an Ode to Joy.
My hubby and daughter who live with me are very understanding of my musical therapy. They’re hearing a lot of Ode to Joy and Ave Maria lately. And, my four budgies? They couldn’t be happier. They chirp along too!