Williamsburg Symphony helps bring music back for violinist with Alzheimer’s

Posted on: January 9, 2017

“If anything is familiar to 82-year-old Liz Popovich, it’s her polished wood violin,” writes Chris Jones in Friday’s (1/6) Williamsburg Yorktown Daily (Virginia). “When Popovich glides the bow across the strings, her face lights up…. She plays entirely from memory. … Popovich is one of an estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease…. Popovich … struggles at times to recognize her daughter [Marcia Munn] who she sees regularly…. In 2015, Munn met Carolyn Keurajian, executive director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra…. Munn told Keurajian that she could no longer take her mother to the evening concerts [because of] confusion, agitation and disorientation…. Keurajian invited Munn and Popovich to attend the orchestra’s rehearsals…. Munn noticed that after … music rehearsals that Popovich could hold conversations, talk about the music she just heard, and discuss the instruments and performers.” Munn said the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra rehearsals give her mother “the sense of who she once was and what she was able to do. It makes her feel special.” Dr. Kemal Chemali, a neurologist, says, “Music is one of the last things to go in Alzheimer’s…. You can remember a song and sing it without making a single mistake.”

Posted January 9, 2017