Alzheimer’s series tunes in to Panhandle

ROMNEY — Music has the power to heal.
That’s the finding of researchers studying the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and brought to life in the new PBS series “Arts and the Mind,” which was filmed in part in Augusta at the cabin of Hampshire High School teacher Paul Roomsburg, who hosts jam sessions there.
Leo Eaton, president and CEO of Eaton Creative, the brainchild of the series, said he wanted to film the series where music was a part of everyday life.
“Last year a friend of mine told me about Paul. I contacted him, met him, and he took me straight up to see his music cabin,” Eaton said.

Paul Roomsburg (left), a musician and Hampshire County High School teacher, offers his home as the setting for a new PBS series about how music and other arts can offset the ravages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The two-part documentary will air this fall on PBS affiliates.

Roomsburg said three generations played for Eaton and are featured in the film.
“What a powerful message and production,” Roomsburg said.
Eaton said The program explores the role the arts play in human development and shares scientific research stories on how music, dance, painting, poetry and theater improve well-being form birth through the aging process.
Throughout the series, leading American neurologists, psychologists and educators talk about the latest insights and findings on how those with Alzheimer’s and dementia react to the arts.
The series also explores how the arts improve children’s learning and achievement in school, and how that effect continues to keep middle-aged and older brains agile and alert.
Eaton said he learned that people who dance all their life could reduce Alzheimer’s by 75 percent.
“For two decades, Eaton Creative and its international partners have helped global audiences better understand and celebrate the complexity and humanity of the world in which we live,” he said.
Roomsburg said production crews were in Hampshire County for two days.
“They filmed at the cabin, at a church and a few other places,” he said.
Roomsburg said he was so impressed with the film he showed it to his class at Hampshire High School.
“My students have been watching it all day. They are amazed,” he said. “They applauded me.”
The two-part documentary will air throughout the 2012 fall season on local PBS affiliate stations.

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