Yesterday morning, I did something fun for myself. I sat and played written piano music instead of just playing a bunch of notes or chords as I passed by the piano.
After muddling through a couple of songs, I remembered I’d played the Prelude in C# Minor by Rachmaninoff for my piano kids recital about the last year I taught in Afton. The Prelude has a series of chords that require overlapping your hands. The first bars were terrible, but as I came to the repeat of those few measures my fingers remembered what they’ve been taught and played them without my thought.
It’s interesting to me that your fingers do remember. I didn’t have to read every note.
A concert pianist once told me he could play “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin anytime because “it’s under my fingers.”
I think each of us has something under our fingers. If you work at a computer as a writer, typist, or any job requiring reports, you do not think “I must press the little finger on my left hand for “a”. You see “a” as a word or in a phrase and your fingers remember.
I watched my accountant use his calculator at lightning speed. He sees a number and it is immediately appears on his screen.
No matter what keyboard you lay your fingers on, your fingers recognize what they do there. True sometimes they get confused and strike the wrong letter, number, or sour note, but they also immediately recognize their error.
What is that connection between the tips of your fingers and the brain that allows for this memory? I’m sure it’s been studied, but I don’t know the answer, do you?