Who Knew My Fingers Have Their Own Brains?

Image attributed to Rama

I’ve been asked to play my harp for my cousin’s upcoming wedding. I greatly admire this cousin who has been highly dedicated in serving in our military. I love my country and so I’d considered joining after I graduated high school, but my parents talked me out of it. It was the only advice of theirs that I regret taking. So agreeing to play for this particular cousin’s wedding was a no-brainer.


The last time I played for any kind of real audience was when I played a wedding while I was pregnant with Charlie. I had horrible morning sickness at the time and I prayed I wouldn’t vomit during the ceremony. Ever since, I’ve been too distracted by family to even do any serious practice, not to mention the fact that a bit of sneaky gluten can now make me feel worse than I did at that last wedding.

But I’ve been feeling great and hopefully no tricky gluten will surprise me between now and then. So I’ve pulled out my harp from the closet, all my old books, and the replacement strings. I fixed the broken string, struggled to tune the harp (because we gave my sister back her piano), and tried to play what I thought I might remember.

In. Credible.

After 3 years, I could still play, from memory, most of my music. For some songs, I only needed to look at the first few notes on the page, but then I was off. It wasn’t perfect, rather like a rusty music box, but I still played!

It was like my fingers have little brains of their own. While I was busy running after the boys, my fingers were still holding on to their dances, remembering their choreography with the strings. I love muscle memory! I know I can easily have my music polished by the Big Day. 😀

Have you ever thought you’d forgotten a skill and realized you never forgot at all? Have you tried again?

2 thoughts on “Who Knew My Fingers Have Their Own Brains?

  1. My experience is similar to yours, except my instrument is the oboe, and I went almost twenty-five years without playing more than once or twice a year. I played a lot in college, and afterwards I joined a community orchestra and a woodwind quintet. But after my kids were born I didn’t have time to practice, especially since I worked full-time. Now that I’m retired from full-time teaching and I’m a grandma, I’ve joined a community band and am once more enjoying the thrill of making music. My fingers remembered what they need to do, although my lips and my lungs need work to get back in shape. Tonight I’m playing “Gabriel’s Oboe” – big oboe solo. Wish me luck! And I know you’ll do great at your cousin’s wedding.

    1. Cool! Good luck Patricia! I know you’ll be awesome! 😀 I know what you mean about your lips and lungs needing to get back into shape. The night that I’d first started practicing again, I got that sore spot on my right forearm where it butts up against the corner of the soundbox. That eventually goes away. It also takes more effort than I remember to keep my arms up too. lol

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