I learnt to type at school – going to typing lessons and doing all the exercises. After a while, I learnt where all the letters on a QWERTY keyboard are and I was able to touch type. I was slow at first and I sometimes had to look down to check the letters on the keyboard, but I quickly picked up speed and no longer needed to look at the keyboard. Eventually it got to the point where if you asked me to tell you where certain letters were, I’d have to stop and think, but if I placed my fingers on a keyboard, I could type faster than I could tell you which letters were where.
Before I could touch type, I learnt to read music and play the piano. I learnt certain pieces of music off by heart – two of my favourites were ‘Falling’ (the theme from Twin Peaks) and Solfeggieto (C P E Bach). I used to enjoy playing these and other pieces of music.
Parkinson’s symptoms vary from person to person. One of my symptoms is rigidity in my hands and fingers – especially my right hand. This makes fine movements such as writing difficult. It also means I struggle to touch type using all my fingers and I also can’t play the piano anymore.
I must admit I do find this frustrating, but I try not to focus on it, and I do physio exercises to try and help.
What I find interesting is that even though my lack of dopamine means that I can’t move my fingers to type or play the piano as I used to, I can still remember where my fingers would go to play those pieces of music. It’s as though the movement patterns of my fingers are engraved somewhere in my brain, but yet the same brain won’t let my fingers actually move with the dexterity or speed to make those movements.
If a cure for Parkinson’s were discovered in my life time, I wonder if I would still be able to play those pieces of music… Maybe one day, I’ll find out. In the meantime, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to learn an instrument and that I can still enjoy music through singing. And my choir is starting up again soon after a short break, so I am looking forward to singing again as it’s one of my favourite things.
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Wonderful thank you for writing will share.
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