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a persistent (and awesome) way of learning the piano

by Shawni

I think it’s so true that people who can’t see can “feel” more.

Lucy can feel music so beautifully.

She can’t see sheet music these days.

So I think I’ve mentioned before that her awesome piano teacher uses a huge staff and writes out music for her to read.

But here’s the deal: it’s hard to see even the enlarged notes.

So Lucy memorizes. It’s pretty cool.

(And also pretty frustrating in the process I have to say!)

But mostly cool. I mean, it’s really incredible how her mind works. I will explain one little part and then she will play it (with lots of help and explanation), and then she will never forget it. And she will put those little sections together like nobody’s business.

And here’s another part of the deal: it’s not easy peasy to write all those notes all huge on that huge staff. I learned what a labor of love that is recently.

Playing the Piano with Vision Loss

But wait, let’s back up:

A while back Lucy read the book The Giver and fell in love with it. And then she watched the movie. To her, it was one of those rare times where a movie just might be as good as the book. (I wrote my own feelings about the book back HERE…it is a good one.)

She was determined to learn “Rosemary’s Theme” on the piano. This was a song that at first look, her piano teacher told her she’d write up a simplified version for her. I mean, this is a lot of notes:

Lucy huffed out of that lesson because she wasn’t about to learn a simplified version.

She wanted the real deal.

(Did I mention she is a spitfire?)

So we got to work. Me explaining all where her fingers would go from the tiny notes on the sheet music, and her memorizing bit by bit.

But by the time we got to the end, she felt like she could really use that big music for the last few pages.

And I was her girl to make it for her.

This isn’t pretty to look at, but after pages and pages of writing it up, I felt pretty proud of myself 🙂

That girl worked her little heart out.

She’s still working.

And she’s getting so good! (I’ll have to do a recording some time soon as she gets it perfected).

I sat there in her piano recital last week in awe of this spit-fire girl of mine who knows how to work hard to reach her dreams.

And in awe of this teacher (in the back row below), who has given her such a gift in the piano.

And that she fills our home with all that beauty so much.

Love you LU!

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7 comments

Sabrina May 18, 2022 - 10:47 am

I am sure for Lucy, it is hard to see (at times) that her condition has a silver lining. She clearly has this incredible ability to memorize. True, it’s a “side effect” of not being able to see as well, but it really goes to show her other senses are so much more heightened. The ability to memorize is a HUGE gift! Her tenacity, while I am sure it can be frustrating at times, is also another huge gift. Lucy is truly inspiring – go, Lucy, go!

(I make this comment in the context that I, as a pediatric cancer patient, always questioned “why me” for getting such an awful disease. It took me many, many years to come to terms with my “why” – which came when I became a parent. I am able to teach my children that no matter what life throws at you, you can BE and DO anything. Lucy is teaching me that, too! So, thank you, Lucy. Thank you for being you, for letting your family share bits of you – which, in turn, teaches the blog readers so many important lessons!).

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Catharina May 18, 2022 - 10:02 pm

That was a beautiful comment, Sabrina. Your kids are blessed to have you.

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Julie May 18, 2022 - 11:19 pm

Lovely words. x

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Kailee May 18, 2022 - 12:57 pm

Lucy really sounds like such a cool person. I’m constantly in awe of how she doesn’t let her blindness get in her way at ALL, ever. She wants to do something, and she does it. I’m a piano player and that’s like really amazing and impressive that she is able to learn the notes and then memorize them in that way! That probably is such a gift to her to be able to pay because music is something you don’t have to see to enjoy (and sometimes its better without seeing anything). Anyway, all this to say Lucy really is one of the strongest people and I’m so impressed by her.

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Brittany May 18, 2022 - 3:50 pm

Lucy is amazing!!!!!

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Lauren May 19, 2022 - 5:48 am

SO inspiring, that girl!

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mom May 22, 2022 - 1:54 pm

This girl is incredible! What she doesn’t get in some areas, she exceeds and excels in others! Her mind is a magical thing. She never ceases to astonish me!

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