Elaine Lebar may have forgotten many things in life because of dementia. But the moment she has a piano in front of her, the 92 year old lady plays such beautiful music. It is totally out of this world.
Elaine remembers music. She may have forgotten names, places, faces, and many more but the music is in her.
Her daughter, Randi Lebar, 63, began recording her mom’s wonderful playing when Elaine moved into a memory care facility in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. And she doesn’t play any of the boring stuff either.
Elaine began to show signs of dementia ten years ago.
The first piece is Chopin. “Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2” is a slow, melodious piece that serenades the listener in peace. It really is meant for the evening. Look at Elaine. 92 with dementia, and she just drops jaws and fills the room with a stunned silence when she plays. She is absolutely fantastic!
“Nocturne is the French word for night. And, it’s called the nocturne because it comes to you at night.”
Says the nonagenarian pianist.
Most of us would be lucky to make it to 90.
Elaine’s life was all about music. In high school, she attended performing arts in NYC, received a BA in Brooklyn College majoring in music, as well as an MA in music education from the University of Missouri.
She has performed, composed, judged, and played all her life.
“Although she can dress and feed herself, she has almost no short-term memory. Five minutes after playing piano, she will not remember that she played. Thankfully, she does recognize me most of the time. Her mind is sharp despite the dementia, as you can see in the videos with the conversation. Although music has always been important in her life, now it’s really the only thing that makes sense.”
Elaine’s got those keys at her mercy.
Listen to that flurry! Look at her fingers go! Elaine can play a medley of Beethoven pieces without missing a beat. She doesn’t pause or hesitate at all. It’s all done in one go.
And she can play standing too. No support, no crutches. Elaine stands straight, the only part of her giving away her age is her slouch. But she still plays like a pro at her peak. And she could probably put other pros to shame.
Imagine Elaine’s playing 50 years back.
The area of the brain that preserves the music is unaffected by dementia. In fact, here’s a former ballerina named Marta Gonzalez. She may be confined to a wheelchair but the moment she hears the music of “Swan Lake“, the Spanish ballerina launches into the same dance she’s done over the years.
Elaine needs constant supervision when going about her day but when there’s a piano in front of her, everyone just stops and lets her play. Randi has recorded her mom’s playing and posted them on social media for the world to see. Elaine is a hit!
In a world that was scared of a viral infection, this 92 year old went viral. Elaine’s piano skills are amazing. It would have been a treat to have seen her play decades ago. But it’s not too late. She’s all over the internet!
Dementia won’t stop this 92 year old! Watch Elaine below!
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