As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, I have often heard of pianists who have extraordinary piano playing abilities.

For example, I recently saw a 60 Minutes program about a blind pianist who began playing piano at the age of three. Studies had found that the visual cortex of his brain never had stimulation from his eyes. As a result, he had an extraordinary ability to play the piano at a very young age. By the age of 18, he was playing jazz concerts around the world.

The program showed him studying with his teacher, from whom he learned classical music as well as jazz. His ability to learn music quickly and to play all types of music has astounded teachers and other musicians for his entire life.

A neurologic researcher was interested in using functional MRI to investigate what happens to this pianist’s brain when he listened to music, and then he to compare that to other people. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The technique uses very strong magnetic fields to stimulate the water molecules in the body to vibrate in such a way that the brain can be imaged to tell what parts of the brain are being used during particular tasks.

During the tests, first he was given a boring task. During that task, there was no evidence of stimulation of his visual cortex. When he played music on a small keyboard that they set up in the MRI unit, however, his entire visual cortex lit up. Apparently, for music, his brain uses the entire visual cortex as well as the auditory cortex. This gives him enormously greater brain power to bring to his music than a normal sighted musician. Apparently, for this one person, at least, the lack of vision does allow him greater ability for music. We do not know if that applies to all blind people, but it was a remarkable finding in this person.

If you have any questions about pianos, piano tuning, or piano care, please give Kenneth Keith Piano Service a call. We are your Wilmington DE piano tuning experts. Along with providing piano services Wilmington DE, we also serve Philadelphia, Eastern Shore MD and Southern NJ.