Extraordinary People

Son ‘brings back’ dad from dementia by helping him play piano

Watch the incredible, heart-warming video of Paul Harvey.

When neurodegenerative illnesses take hold of our loved ones, it can often be hard to reach the person they once were.

However, a son managed to ‘bring back’ his dad from dementia after giving him just four music notes which then triggered a beautiful improvisation performance on the piano.

The incredible moment was caught on camera, with Nick Harvey filming dad Paul as he advised him to play “F-natural, A, D, and B-natural.”

What happened next was simply captivating, as former composer and teacher Paul began tinkering at the keys to play a spontaneous piece he made up on the spot.


Nick posted the video online, alongside the caption: “Dad’s ability to improvise and compose beautiful melodies on the fly has always amazed me.

“Tonight, I gave him four random notes as a starting point. Although his dementia is getting worse, moments like this bring him back to me.”

With the video capturing the public’s heart, views swiftly began spiralling with more than 1.5million hits at the time of publication.

Even the team over at Good Morning Britain fell in love with the footage, inviting Nick and Paul – who was diagnosed last year – on the show to speak about their experience.

Chatting to hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Nick said: “I genuinely felt so privileged to be in the same room as him when he came up with it.

“Honestly, it was an amazing moment.”

Susanna then tested Paul for round two by gifting the notes “C, D, G and B” to see if he would perform live on ITV, before he rose to the challenge with a stunning performance.

Dementia is an umbrella term for several diseases affecting memory or cognitive abilities that are a result of ongoing decline of brain function.

There are many different causes of dementia, and many different variations of it.

Music therapy continues to prove popular in preserving areas of the brain as research shows that playing, listening to, or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioural benefits for people with the disease as key brain areas are linked to musical memory.


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