A hand reposition with no time to think – B-flat was the correct note though it didn’t feel right, then play A, then the last tricky part – 2 eighth notes where I’d been fighting for days not to play 3, descending flats and I’d be back on the by now easy part learned a few days ago. Stopped without playing on, grinned and lowered the melodica because I’d played the entire tricky part without looking at the keys. Remembered it didn’t feel right, saw where my right hand was and did my best low speed, barely audible imitation of Keanu saying ‘Whoa’ because the hand was not in the expected position.
A week ago a memory surfaced, a plan quickly followed and the fourth long layoff since buying the instrument ended. The memory was a quote: ‘An amateur practises until they get something right, the professional practices until they never get it wrong’. I’d been moving on after being able to carefully play a tune. Decided this time to start with easier music and practice until I had it memorized and didn’t need to look at the keys.
The unexpected result was being able to play the right notes without knowing where the fingers were and without thinking about the fingering. Instead the memory of the song (Blue Suede Shoes), muscle memory built up during learning and reading the music said the next note was a half tone lower. The correct finger, that is, the one over the key, not the one I’d been using for 5 days, pressed an 1/8 note as did the correct finger for the next note a tone down, etc. Whoo hoo! Does everyone remember their first time?
On a related note, playing got easier after I jury-rigged a music stand: