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October 20, 2021

Son Records Father with Dementia Improvising on a Piano–His Music Moves Thousands of People

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The video of a retired music teacher improvising on the piano is made the rounds on the internet after his son shared it on Twitter. The man who has been battling dementia for years is touching lives with his music.

Paul Harvey, an 81-year-old man, has gradually lost track of some of his most treasured memories and realities over the years since being diagnosed with dementia.

Amid his sea of tangled realities, the former music teacher could still hold on to something beautiful: his music.

Paul Harvey playing the piano with his son Nick Harvey; And Paul Harvey in recent times | Photo: Instagram.com/mrnickharvey - Twitter.com/mrnickharvey

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BUILDING DREAMS

Harvey, who spent the last five years living in sheltered accommodation as part of his dementia care, finally got a chance to fulfill his life-long dream of conducting a symphony orchestra of his songs.

His grand opportunity came after his son, Nick Harvey, posted a video of him improvising a two-minute piece on his piano in 2020. Nick's video, shared to Twitter, racked up to two million views within days, leaving many in awe of the elderly pianist.

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MOMENTS THAT COUNT

The video showed the man giving a soulful rendition on his keyboard, sticking to just the four notes Fa natural, A, D, and B natural. He looked passionate about his work, as the melody emanated from the keyboard, filling the study with life. 

Nick went on to reflect on his dad's dementia, admitting it worsened by the day. Despite the sad reality, the man was thankful for beautiful moments like his dad's piano session, which admittedly brought his dad back to him.

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MAKING AN IMPACT

Paul's heartwarming video captured many hearts, attracting several comments on social media. Many netizens admitted the piano performance moved them greatly, while others sang praises of the beautiful piece.

Some commended the 81-year-old's extraordinary talents for producing beautiful, fascinating, and mind-blowing pieces. Many also admitted to having benefited from Harvey's musical prowess while growing up under his tutelage.

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BREAKING BIG

The viral clip grabbed the attention of notable media houses and news outlets, including CBC and BBC. He was soon invited to play live from his home on Breakfast TV.

A year later, he snagged the opportunity to conduct the BBC Philharmonic orchestra, where he played two of his compositions at the Salford studio.

Making the dream-fulfilling moment more memorable, Paul's son was on hand to play the piano during the performance, as the prolific composer conducted the orchestra.

The proceeds from the performance, which was recorded by BBC Philharmonic as a single, were donated to the Alzheimer's Society and Music for Dementia.

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