Beatie Wolfe's Personal Story
Inspired by neurologist Oliver Sacks, who detailed the power of music for a range of ailments from Parkinson’s through to autism, Beatie was particularly moved by his accounts of using familiar and personal music to provide that vital "way in" for those living with dementia
After discovering that her American Grandmother had been diagnosed with dementia, Beatie had the opportunity to see the amazing impact of the music first-hand when she performed to her. Following this experience, Beatie decided to play music to a relative living in a care home in Portugal. However what was meant to be a performance for a single individual ended up being for the entire dementia ward, of some 100 patients. On this occasion, Beatie’s music was entirely unfamiliar to the residents and there was also no lyrical connection to draw upon - as none of the residents spoke any English. Beatie was amazed to watch individuals waking up from being asleep, singing along, clapping and fully engaging with the music and the director of the care home describing it as “the best he had ever seen the group” in his 10 years directorship.
Returning to the UK with this experience fresh in her mind, Beatie realised that she wanted something more concrete to share than simply a powerful anecdote and decided then to take this further