You probably know a song that makes you think of someone sweet or important in your life. Unless you’re tone deaf. But, if you’re tone deaf, then you wouldn’t be reading a music blog.
Well, except my dad. He was probably tone deaf, and he still read my blog.
My dad had helped plant a tree beside my grandma’s house when he was in his teens, and in recent years, it had grown taller than the house itself and the leaves had gotten a little unruly.
The last time I went to my grandma’s house, the tree was gone. It was chopped into tiny logs to heat my cousin’s house. It’s an important task, and I got to stay in her basement without freezing, because of the mighty tree.
It doesn’t affect me as much as a piece of music that would remind me of my dad.
The other day, I wanted to learn a song that my dad used to like, but after listening to it on the piano, I sat there and simply couldn’t play piano at all.
In a study at the University of Newcastle in Australia, researchers used pop music to help people with brain injuries recall memories, and the brain scans saw entire neural networks light up from listening to this music.
The triggered memories are often vivid or emotional, which explains why listening to music affects me more than seeing my dad’s belongings. I went to that pier with my dad in the photo above.
I discovered that it’s hard to concentrate on his songs long enough to learn to play them, but I still love them a lot. I can play around 10 seconds of the intro.
Music triggers a lot of memories, and a great way for someone to remember you is when you share a meaningful piece of music with them. Then they’ll think of you, when they hear the music.
This is a long-winded way to say that I’m trying really hard.
I want to remember him and celebrate his memory and I don’t see why we can’t celebrate him when we visit his gravestone. We’re not supposed to wear red, which is a joyous colour in chinese culture. I’m grateful I got to know him.
I also think it’s a bit hard to visit the gravestone if I don’t think he’s underneath there anymore. We go there as a gesture, I think. At least, I do.
But, what do I know?
All I know is that he lives when I play piano. When I hear his music.
I almost expect him to peek his head inside my piano practice room again. Almost.