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Music Memory - Shirley Camia

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the "Music For Memory Project": a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week we hear from our Community Arts Reporter Shirley Camia!

"My family wasn’t very musical. I, like many kids, spent reluctant hours in front of a piano, learning how to unravel – unsuccessfully – the mystery of music. But there was never any real appreciation of its power in my household, no music from records or cassettes, no melodies crooned through a radio. It wasn’t until an uncle of mine played me one of his favourite groups that I began to understand music’s beauty – and the feelings and memories it conjures.

My uncle loved ABBA. His eyes would grin when he heard the catchy, disco pulse of their songs. And his enthusiasm was infectious. Not soon after I heard Dancing Queen for the first time, I was into ABBA – and into music – too.

He left us many years ago, but to this day, I can’t hear Dancing Queen without hoping that he’s smiling wide somewhere and tearing it up on a dance floor.

Leave them burning and then you're gone…"

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