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Serenading Alzheimer patients


OUTREACH PROGRAMME: Two Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra musicians perform a short recital for Alzheimer patients at a daycare centre in Petaling Jaya

PETALING JAYA: ALZHEIMER patients were delighted when two musicians from the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) performed a short recital at the Petaling Jaya Daycare Centre operated by Alzheimer Disease Foundation Malaysia.

Throughout their one-hour performance, tubist Brett Stemple and piccolist Sonia Croucher engaged with the audience and explained the characteristics of each musical piece which was rearranged by the musicians themselves especially for the patients.

Among the pieces played were Ben by Michael Jackson, Tijuana Taxi by Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass, Tico-tico by Zequinha de Abre and Getaran Jiwa by Tan Sri P. Ramlee.

“It’s a cliche but it is true. Music has the ability to communicate and transcend language in different cultures, and touch people without using words,” said Brett.

“Brett’s mother has Alzheimer’s disease so it feels special to be able to do this as he has a wonderful relationship with her. At the same time, it also increases my understanding of the disease,” said Croucher.

“Music is something people enjoy because they can escape and forget about their pain temporarily,” said Brett.

“It makes everyone happy regardless of their age.”

The visit is part of MPO’s education and outreach programme, where musicians perform for community groups and institutions such as hospitals, orphanages and senior citizens homes.


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