Ex-music teacher with dementia releases charity single inspired by four notes | #teacher | #children | #kids


A piece composed by an 80-year-old former music teacher with dementia will be released as a single after he recorded it with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

Paul Harvey improvised the composition after his son Nick gave him four random notes – F, A, D and B – to play.

He was able to write the piece despite his condition, showcasing how musical ability can survive memory loss.


A clip of him playing the song was shared widely online, with more than 1.6m views, and the Philharmonic got involved.

The song, entitled Four Notes, will now be released with proceeds split between the Alzheimer’s Society and Music for Dementia.

A video of Paul playing the piano went viral on Twitter (Nick Harvey)

Paul described the experience of hearing the single as “very moving”.

“It was very, very moving and very thrilling at the same time,” he told the BBC.

“It’s quite amazing that all this has happened, and in my 81st year. It’s fantastic. It’s given me a new lease of life and after we’ve all finished here I’ll go to the piano and find another four notes.”

Nick added: “It has been such a crazy rollercoaster ride over the last few weeks. It’s amazing for dad at this age, but also amazing for the charities. It’s a win-win for everybody.

“Dad has got a twinkle in his eye again, a skip in his step because of the fact that his music is resonating with people, and people are touched and moved by his story.

“It makes him happy, it has given him a new lease of life and it is such a wonderful thing to behold.”

Grace Meadows, programme director at Music for Dementia, said: “We are so honoured to be a part of this exceptional endeavour and delighted that Paul and Nick have chosen us in this way.

The single will be available on all streaming platforms on November 1.



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