Bernadette's Empathy Revolution
Testimonials from Mexico
“Music therapy helped me understand it is important to help the elderly remember good things and get away, a little bit, from their complicated situation. The experience I've had in applying it, truly, has been amazing. I have seen how my elder is excited to hear songs that relate to her, her father, or her brother, who are no longer alive. I see how she gets excited and I see how through these memories that the songs spark, we have been able to work and dig a little bit deeper, in such a way that we are able to resolve unresolved issues or at least try to. I leave with a very happy experience, very happy to be able to help them in this way. I would like this to be extended because it is very useful and can help all the elderly at some point in their life”.
- Juan Carlos Blancafort Heredia, Psychology student, Mexico
“I have witnessed a miracle in Violet.
Although she has a terrifying background history in which her whole family was murdered in front of her when she was a child, she didn't let that stop her. She's the most resilient person I know. Even though she's tough I've seen another part of her. Alive Inside that has given me strength I need in my own life.
I dream that someday the conception of people who have Alzheimer's as annoying or distant can be eradicated and that people can realize that they are people who have yet a lot to enjoy in life.
Being part of ALIVE INSIDE I have realized that a person, like Violet, who was tremendously closed, who did not talk to anyone, who was very aggressive, when given music, could dance, sing and be open with me.
I think this is an experience I would never have had if it not were for ALIVE INSIDE. I am very grateful to ALIVE INSIDE and Bernadette, the teacher, for bringing this project to Mexico. I wish it could be extended to other places, because, truly, it has had a very incredible effect”.
- Andrea Marian Bottle Leon, Mexico
“My experience in ALIVE INSIDE has been one of personal growth. Actually, I was not sure of working with this type of population but I have learned a lot and grown a lot as a person. I have changed my ideas and stereotypes. It is amazing to see how a person who is very deteriorated while listening to music can hear moments of their youth, their childhood."
- Lucia Fragoso Carrizosa, Mexico
“I want to thank ALIVE INSIDE for such an incredible opportunity. It has been so great, and full of opportunities to enrich me as a person, in my career, as a student of psychology and above all, to work with people, who do teach you something, who teach you a lot about the areas of life that you have not lived.
It is an honor to work with people so pleasant, so keen to live, despite the fact that they have had bad experiences.
The truth is, I will not lie, I will not say that this experience has been easy, I have felt so many feelings, from happiness, to frustration, to courage, but happiness predominates. It has been an experience that has built me, made me grow, and taught me that life has more important things in it than we think”.
- Paulina Gonzalez Luna Ruiz, Mexico
“In this practice I see how music can help a person, with some illness, to remember moments that normally they can not remember. My elder, has a type of dementia but when I put a mariachi song that she said her mother played for her when she was 12 years old, she started to move. That made me see she remembered the moments she had with the mariachis”.
- Andrea Gonzalez Marquez, Mexico
"My experience in this practice has been very shocking because I had no idea of how music could change the quality of elders´ lives. After carrying out this practice we observed many changes in old people who did not speak or had lost their memory or could not relate with other people. By listening to music they started to remember the songs they sang and how they used to dance in their youth. They recognized the singers and remembered how happy they were at that stage of their lives. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work in this practice and help elders to change their lives when they are still alive.
I have changed a lot with the work we have done with elders and ALIVE INSIDE. I was very afraid to work with elders. Seeing how music can change them so much, motivated me. I would like to work more with elders and I also believe that this program should be extended to the whole world. I feel very fortunate to be part of ALIVE INSIDE in Mexico.
- Camila Ibarra Robles, Mexico
"At the beginning she did not remember any song. Now, she remembers songs and asks me to put them to her. At the beginning, she did not sing, she listened, but she did not sing. Now, since we have been listening to the songs she liked every week, she has improved her memory, remembering the pieces and enjoying them, both the lyrics and the melody. Now, she talks more. We have a very good bond. Since the program started, I have had comments from the nurses, from the people who help her, very positive about Rosita. This has changed her, I think she has been improving her life.
I remember that in the first session she did not remember any songs but the last few times she mentioned a song she remembered and wanted to hear. Her mood has been improving and every time I arrive she says "I´m waiting for the person that comes to visit me every 8 days". That phrase always makes me feel good, since she is almost 100 years old and does not remember much. Now she remembers that every tuesday “someone” is going to visit her and listen to music with her.
ALIVE INSIDE has been a new experience for me. Although I have a very good relationship with all my grandparents, I have never had a relationship so close to other older people, much less bring so many benefits to their lives, This has changed me. Rosita and I, although we are not from the same time, share songs. There are songs that bring me memories of my grandparents and this is something we can share. Somehow we both enjoy it and learn something from it."
- Andrea Muciño Agis Maria, Mexico