Dr. Grimes’ 20-1-7 CHALLENGE:
- For the first TWENTY weeks of this year,
- Pick ONE healthy change every Sunday, and
- Commit to that change for SEVEN days.
Old School Keyboarding: 20-1-7 Challenge Week #16
When my Mom’s Alzheimer disease prevented her from recognizing me as her daughter, the only way I could consistently engage with her was through music. Christmas carols, children’s songs and Broadway show tunes would almost always bring a smile to her face, and her eyes would often brighten as she nodded and sang along. My most cherished memory from those last challenging years was sparked by this connection. After singing Christmas carols nonstop for nearly an hour, my mom spontaneously grasped my hands, made full eye contact with me, and in a fleeting moment of clarity, announced, “Jill, you know I love you.” What a gift!
As such, my eyes quickly zoom in on articles such as the “Effects of Music Learning and Piano Practice on Cognitive Function, Mood, and Quality of Life in Older Adults.” I’m always encouraged to see more evidence that playing the piano positively affects the brain, and yet at the same time, I have walked past MY piano without touching the keys for longer than I care to admit (think years, not months).
So- this week’s challenge is to bring back PIANO playing into my life’s routine, if only for a few songs per day. I will be VERY rusty, but I believe at least a few songs are so deeply imprinted in my neural pathways and fingers that they will jumpstart my musical engine (Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag is a must.)
For those of you “playing along” with my 20-1-7 challenge who do NOT play piano but own one…now is a great time to start lessons! If you neither own nor know how to play, feel free to choose a different instrument or simply sing out loud a few songs.
BOTTOM LINE: This week’s challenge is to play the piano for at least 10 minutes per day.
20-1-7 Challenge Week #15: Nuke It Feedback: Microwaving the kitchen sponge before and after use was a simple habit quickly adopted by our whole family.