Alzheimer’s is a distressingly common disease among the world’s elderly population. Currently, 5.8 million people over the age of 65 in the United States are currently fighting the disease, according to Bright Focus. It’s tragic to see loved ones lose their memory, but every day, experts are trying new ways to combat mental decline, and music has been helpful in allowing people living with Alzheimer’s to feel clarity and joy.
Musica Para Despertar (“Music To Awaken”) is an international group dedicated to using music to “awaken” many of the parts of the brain that are affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s. The organization, led by a team of experts, has found that music can improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s, reducing their anxiety, boosting their emotions, and improving their cognitive functions.
Recently, the organization shared a video of Marta González — a former prima ballerina of the New York Ballet. The video was taken when Marta was in her sixties and living with Alzheimer’s, but when one of the Musica Para Despertar volunteers shared a piece from Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Marta instantly remembered the choreography. Right there in her wheelchair, she displayed all the grace and breathtaking movement she once shared on the stage. The video has captured the hearts of people around the world, bringing a tear to their eye and taking their breath away.
Marta has since passed away, living out the remainder of her time at the Residencia Muro de Alcoy surrounded by love, care, and music. Her legacy, however, will live on through her tremendous career and this inspiring video.