PHOENIX – Taking a cue from the movie Alive Inside, volunteers were inspired and decided to donate money so musicians from the Phoenix Symphony could provide mini-concerts for dementia patients at Gardiner Home, the Hospice of the Valley’s inpatient home dedicated to dementia care.

“That’s a memory they will have forever. It’s a source of comfort and healing,” said Maribeth Gallagher, dementia program director for Hospice of the Valley who was a professional musician herself years ago. “Music can unleash a floodgate of emotion. It comes from the heart.”

The musicians who participated in the community outreach program also walk away with appreciation from the experience. They not only play music but take time to connect with patients through conversation and companionship.

“It makes me feel that what I’m doing is worthwhile. Not just performing on a stage in front of a huge audience but really reaching people one-on-one,“ said Maggie Martinic, violin player with the Phoenix Symphony.

“I’m tickled that we’re doing this. It really makes my heart smile,” said Greg Umber, musician with Phoenix Symphony.

“Music is great therapy for people with dementia. Looking around, I could see people tapping their toes and singing, it was just a joyous occasion,” said David Winston, husband of a patient.

If you’d like to donate or learn more about Hospice of the Valley, click here.