I lifted his hands and fingers and placed them on the keys. I played the keys further up the keyboard with his fingers just sitting on the lower keys. Then I pushed his fingers to make music. He would take his hands off the keyboard and I would play a little then put his fingers back. We did this quite a few times.
He would posture his fingers as if the "muscle memory" was trying to take over. The positions he attempted with his hands and fingers were very similar to what I had seen many times as he was getting ready to play. Sometimes the fingers would just sit there after posturing and other times he would strike one key or a handful of them.
I do not do these things in the hope that he will re-gain abilities or skills. I do them as yet another way to provide him with daily meaningful activities and as a way of interacting with him using skills he used to love doing.
Our practice session lasted about 5 minutes. Then I recorded this 18 second piece. I facilitated, I recorded, but I was astounded when I watched what had been recorded. I had not realized until I watched this video, what he was able to accomplish in such a short period of time.
He hasn't "played piano" for at least 8 years! He didn't all of a sudden play Chopin like he used to but you could see his hands trying to get back some of that muscle memory and eventually he did compose this piece which I will call: "Gregory's Muscle Memory."
At the end of the piece, you can see Gregory's fingers "making silent love" to the keys and his final comment sums up for me how he felt about the experience.