I have blogged before about learning to play the piano, having eschewed the keyboard in my younger years. Undoubtedly the most difficult thing for me was to play with both hands. It is a knack or skill similar to riding a bicycle - all of a sudden it happens. The next most difficult skill is reading ahead in the score, preparing my fingers to be in the right place so that I can play the notes without stopping.
It sounds strange, but the reason I decided to learn the piano was that I spent so much time listening to music, it seemed a better occupation of time to actually play a musical instrument instead of always listening to someone else play. A friend who decided to learn the guitar came to an independent and similar conclusion.
Tom Wolfe, of The Right Stuff, has written that music is a window into the soul. Perhaps we should not be surprised that Music 'flips switch' for shot congresswoman. Family members attribute Gabrielle Giffords' astonishing recovery to music therapy. She started with "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and first mouthed the words as a therapist played a guitar. She has progressed in her recovery to more complex music pieces. Her mother tells the congresswoman enjoys sing-alongs with laughter and clapping.
Giffords hitting all the right recovery notes, her mom says, explains that singing is a standard technique for brain injury patients who have difficulty in composing speech. The first words are always the hardest, but rehabilitation frequently takes years. The Houston Chron article adds that we are accustomed to large improvements from drugs or surgery, but that rehabilitation is a very slow and labor-intensive process. The docs caution that Giffords still has some significant hurdles to overcom.