When I was a boy, I took violin lessons. I remember playing Vivaldi in a room with a blue carpet and high windows. The teacher listened and made remarks, most of which to the benefit of my musical development. One time however, the teacher, a woman who must have been in her early thirties, noticed something strange. When I played the violin, I did something completely wrong. In my head, I didn’t think of musical tones and melodies, but I thought fingers. Index finger = 1, middle finger = 2, ring finger = 3, and pinky = 4.
I didn’t know back then who Pythagoras was, so I couldn’t lecture her about how the universe itself is composed of musical proportions, and that with thinking these numbers I was actually closer to pure music than with do-re-mi.
I couldn’t get rid of the finger numbers in my head, and the remark of my music teacher became a burden. Much later, after I had gone other ways, I dusted off my violin and played. I was thinking fingers again. But I still enjoy playing.
It’s alright to think fingers.