Music After TBI: Helena Part Eleven
Helena found a task for which she was far more suited when she decided to create a CD which was a compilation of her music after TBI. She explains:
I decided that I wanted to make a CD of my singing, and I called it before and beyond. So some of the songs were before my accident, and, and one of them was after my accident. I already had two pretty professional recordings of concerts I’d done before the injury.
Some of it was already pre-recorded, but I knew I had to ask for lots of help, because again, the focus and concentration of it. So I asked a person who knew a lot about recording to help me produce the musical part of it, to get it onto a CD and make whatever edits in the tracks there were. He also recorded my performance of that last song, and then my friend designed the cover.
In the inside of the CD, there’s a little story of what my life was like and, and why I’m doing this, and so it’s a pretty complete picture of what my life was before and what it is now. (They) worked hard with me to make it beautiful. Every time I needed somebody’s help, because I had no idea what to do, I asked for help, and we came up with what we were pretty proud of as a professional, as professional as we could get.
Helena explains her music after TBI and what is on the CD:
Pop music, I mean Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and I was playing and singing this all, this was all solo; some folk music, and, but mostly pop standards. Now I can’t remember what the middle section of it is. Then after, because I was so grateful to everyone who had helped make my recovery possible, my last song, that I did after my accident was Leon Russell’s This is a Song for You, and that was my way of, of saying thank you.
How has the music after TBI changed for you?
I make more mistakes. I make note mistakes, I don’t always play the right notes. Most people would never notice them. But I was pretty close to perfect, and now, I mean, if I was at a 95, now I’m at a 90 or an 85. So I make note mistakes.
Do you notice the mistakes of your music after TBI?
Oh yeah, oh yeah, and, but I’ve accepted it. That’s just what happens. So when I’m trying to read notes I can’t read any of it because I really didn’t write it. My perfect pitch hasn’t changed at all, so I can hear all of it; I know what’s supposed to happen. I wouldn’t make mistakes if I went much slower. The speed aspect of something is, is the thing I can’t manage.
Can you perform your music after TBI with others?
Oh yes. Yes. It sounds like bragging, but I’m pretty close to a world-class musician. So I could conduct a choir; I could hear what needs to happen. I can play with others and, and do my part or, or lead them.
It is clear that unlike her time as a neuropsychomotrist, through music she achieves vocational achievement, that gives self actualization. With that return of confidence, many of the mood issues that can snow ball after TBI, are controlled.