Music for the Mind

Music appears to stay in the memory. For Alzheimers sufferers, like Lorraine, music can bring a smile.

Lorraine, my New Zealand wife, is in her 8th year of Alzheimers and likes nothing better then singing la, la la to live music.

Alzheimers is a terminal disease with sufferers dying usually within 10 years of the initial diagnosis. There is no cure. Research indicates a date of 2050 for this to become a reality.

While I play classical guitar, Lorraine and listeners can vocalise the tunes by singing la la la along to the memories of classical, nostalgic and romantic memories.

How do you recognise the beginning of Alzheimers?

Looking back over the past decade, I remember we were both lying in bed on our backs and about to start reading a new hardback book together. Lorraine liked authors Danielle Steele and Stephen King, whereas I liked Michael Connelly and James Patterson. I held the book above our heads, read and turned the first page. Stop. Go back. After 20 seconds I turned the page again. Stop. Go back. Where are you, love? Lorraine pointed to the first sentence.

We had to complete passport documents to apply for renewals. Lorraine had put this off for two months. Finally, Lorraine sat down to complete her forms. After 20 minutes, Lorraine called. Can you help? Lorraine was on the first page of the form. I looked over her shoulder and saw that she had spelt her name wrong. I sat down beside her and cried.

When Lorraine was diagnosed we decided to continue our quality of life as much as we can.

Without a song , the day would never end

Elvis Presley’s speech, age 35 in 1971 receiving award for The Ten Most Young Outstanding Men in the Nation. Previous recipients: Presidents John Kennedy, Bill Clinton.  “Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain't got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend, without a song. So I keep singing my song. Goodnight. Thank you.”
Elvis Presley’s
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45 Years

In 2017, Lorraine and I had been together for 45 years. We realised that sapphire was the precious stone and bought rings to wear.

In 2018, I bought a Classical guitar. I last played 40 years ago. Lorraine sings along in her la, la, la style, vocalising to the melody. Lorraine discovered she has an operatic voice that has been dormant for 70 years.

We play for Charity recognising that music is the one common language in the world. People remember the songs that they loved.

The rhyming, the timing, the rhythm, the melody – although the words may remain vague. 

Today, Lorraine is in her 8th year of Alzheimers.

Join us for a sing-along to Classical, Nostalgic and Romantic memories.

“Music has always helped me tell my story. Music helps us share ourselves. Our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters. Every story within every voice, every note within every song.”
Michelle Obama, 2019.
Former First Lady
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