Before learning to play the piano, thirteen-year-old Ray, who suffers from Stargardt disease, was becoming very withdrawn and focussing more and more on what he couldn’t do rather than what he could. Now, with his new clavinova and piano lessons funded by Amber, he is much happier and more relaxed. He enjoys playing and practising and doesn’t talk all the time about his eyesight problems in a negative way. Ray takes real pride in being able to play his favourite pieces fluently.
Although Ray still finds crowded and unfamiliar places frightening and challenging, music is helping his confidence to grow and enriching his childhood. As his sight deteriorates, he will not be able to carry on with some of his other hobbies – playing his clavinova gives him something positive to focus on which he enjoys and is good at. It also calms him as he has become more vocal and excitable due to his poor eyesight.
Ray’s letter to Amber says, “Thank you very much for funding my piano lessons for the last few months and also for the next few weeks and even months. This will help me so much and hopefully I’ll be doing my grading soon. With the money you gave me to pay for the lessons I will be able to play the piano even better than before. I really like playing. I hope I will get really good and do a little concert or a little play. Once again thank you very much.“