I am taking piano lessons now and loving it! I had never done anything musical before but was tired of only being the audience. While the rest of my family played their various instruments, I just listened and clapped (well, tried to clap!) I feel this is working a whole other part of my brain and working my fine motor skills. I really believe that constant repetition retrains are bodies to do stuff that Ataxia makes not so natural anymore. Needless to say, this process can be very challenging at times. The hand-eye coordination doesn’t come easy. My fingers seem to have a ‘mind’ of their own. But I’m trying desperately to control those finger movements without the benefit of watching my hands.
Another aspect of all this is that music adds a different level to the learning process. My fingers have a better chance of falling into “rhythm” when they have a tune to follow. I taught my son our phone number by putting it to music. That was over 10 years ago but to this day, I still sing that little jingle to myself when I have to fill in my phone number on a form. So my philosophy is to never shy away from the possibility of learning something new. In my opinion, developing that ‘muscle memory’ can only help. According to Wikipedia, muscle memory is ““When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort. This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems.”