Maria-Luiza Popescu Uses Music to Help Alzheimer’s Patients

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Maria-Luiza Popescu is young and successful. She is a proud Clinton Foundation ambassador, and the only Romanian chosen for this honor during her years at University. Her work is related to Alzheimer’s disease, and she is trying to help Alzheimer’s victims to recover their memory by using musical therapy.

Illustrative Photo

Maria-Luiza Popescu graduated from the Political and Governmental Sciences and Business Management faculties, which is why her work is devoted to economic decisions and leadership structuring. Also, she is a social entrepreneur, providing management consulting with impact and awareness.

Fascinated by the neuroscientific effect of music, Maria-Luiza Popescu is keen to use interdisciplinary connectivity. In her rising career, she already had the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies as well as with NGOs and independent contractors.

Maria-Luiza Popescu and music

Maria-Luiza Popescu / Photo: From the Personal Archive of Maria-Luiza Popescu
Maria-Luiza Popescu / Photo: From the Personal Archive of Maria-Luiza Popescu

Music appeared in Maria’s life when she was a child, when she first heard Jean Michel Jarre on television. Although she was only 2-3 years old, she still remembers the video “Calypso,” which was broadcast almost daily. At that moment, the music provoked emotions that she had not previously known. Twenty-five years later, she still remembers the excitement she felt listening to that particular song.

In her teens, she used ambient music as an associative background, to learn in a better way. Later, she had the chance to get in touch with the late neurosurgeon, Doctor Oliver Sacks, whose study of the neurological effects of music inspired her to build a career in this direction.

“Electronic-ambient music has, by far, had the most decisive impact on me, both in the mental space, as an accompaniment to meditation, but also as a vehicle for socializing with the artists behind it, many of whom are underground political activists.”

To organize public sessions, invite artists, involve fundraisers – all to help Alzheimer’s patients

Encountering music at an early age made her understand it better than others. She perceived music spiritually, mentally, and last emotionally, but also as a visceral discharge. Maria has always been attentive to alternative concerts, in which artists say what most people think, but they do not have the courage to express in public.

“Music is a way of getting into the subconscious, in those distant places of the human consciousness. Here it is quite challenging to reach by regular sounds, without any means of self-help.”

Maria-Luiza Popescu understood the huge benefits of music and used it academically: she organized University and public sessions, invited artists, organized fundraisers – all to help Alzheimer’s patients. Music therapy research was going to take wings through her efforts.

Road to America

America, the land of every opportunity, is a special place where any and all can get the chance to prove themselves. Since her first journey at the age of 16, Maria-Luiza Popescu has crossed the Atlantic several times.

Her family encouraged her skills and passions, so she learned early on what her abilities were, but mainly what her actual value was. She maximized her potential in the most conducive environment: at 19, he left for America permanently, for college.

“I was raised in the spirit of choices of the truly free individual. A person who expresses his principles without hesitation, and strives for them, both for himself and others. America is far from perfect, but the civic organizational reality and support for affinity groups prevail, and values ​​are recognized.”

Music outings

The subject of civic spirit has been her interest from the beginning, and Maria felt that she could bring innovation to various causes. From her adolescence, she noted how easy it was to correspond with artist-activists, how open they were to collaborate, regardless of their reputation. America gave her a sweet taste after seeing with her own eyes how the answers were coming in the mail within hours of making contact.

“There is no format to compare Romania and the US, in terms of respect, professionalism, conscientiousness. The most significant differences lie in the organizational realities of civic action, from the smallest groups to the most significant.”

Maria-Luiza Popescu argues that her most significant achievement was co-founding an initiative to support patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Other music lovers were involved here.

“In partnership with Spotify, we organize periodic collections of portable audio equipment (previous models of smartphones, iPods). Also, what we call “music outings”: events coordinated by specialized hospitals, where we spend time with patients connected to music in the past, for several hours a week.”

Title photo: Shutterstock

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