Sussex musician Paul Harvey wins dementia hero award Brighton News

A MUSICIAN living with dementia received a prestigious award after his improvised piece of music surpassed the charts.

Paul Harvey, who lives in Buxted near Uckfield, said he was “honored” to have won an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Dementia Hero Awards.

The 80-year-old was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019 and received the award for his piano improvisation, “ Four Notes, ” which went viral last year and was subsequently recorded by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Argus: Paul and Nick Harvey.  Photo by Music for DementiaPaul and Nick Harvey. Photo by Music for Dementia

The track entered the UK Top 40 and all proceeds from sales of the single went to Alzheimer’s Society and Music for Dementia.

Paul, who has taught at Imberhorne School in East Grinstead, attended the virtual awards ceremony Thursday last week alongside his son Nick.

Paul said: “There were some amazing finalists in the category who deserved to win.

“It was very moving to watch the ceremony and I was really, really shocked to win.

The Argus: Paul Harvey taught music at Imberhorne School in East GrinsteadPaul Harvey taught music at Imberhorne School in East Grinstead

“I love music and took my first exam when I was only four years old. When I was 15, I got the best grades in Great Britain for 8th grade at the piano.

“When I was 18, I moved from Stoke-on-Trent to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music.

“Dementia is on everyone’s lips now and we are talking about it more than ever. We never used to talk about dementia.

Nick has said his father’s memory of his incredible rise to fame is “sketchy,” but his determination is a testament to the “astonishing” power of music.

He said: “In September of last year, I filmed my dad playing the piano and posted it on social media. Within hours, it had gone viral.

“Before we knew it, we were interviewed on Radio 4, BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain.

“Inspired by dad’s improvisation, Phillip Schofield even gave dad the task of playing a piece of music using four different notes and dad then created a new piece of music live on This Morning that ended up making you cry. Holly Willoughby.

“The message is also getting out: the power of music is an amazing transformative force that is beneficial to people with dementia.

“The right music at the right time can be so powerful. Music is all around us and it’s free.

“It’s an incredible resource, not only for people with dementia, but also for those who care for them. Music connects people. ”

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This notice was published: 2021-05-26 17:00:00