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Carmel Valley teenager using music therapy to help with COVID-19 brain fog

16-year old Evan Ludington is offering free keyboard and ukulele lessons.

SAN DIEGO — Some people recovering from COVID-19 suffer from what is being described as brain fog. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Carmel Valley to meet a teenager hoping to help patients get their minds moving with music.

When we met 16-year-old Evan Ludington he was in his music room at his house playing a classic song by Simon and Garfunkel on his keyboard. It was fitting to hear "Bridge over Troubled Water" because this high school junior wants to help people recover from COVID. 

"The goal is to improve people's brains just kind of exercise them and get them back into shape," said Evan.  

The Canyon Crest Academy junior believes music could be the cure to COVID-19 brain fog and at the very least offer an emotional outlet following a tough year.

"It was pretty isolating for me. I think it was isolating for a lot of people," said Evan. 

One common symptom of post-COVID syndrome is brain fog, which includes difficulty focusing and remembering even months after a confirmed COVID-19 infection. Research shows that even when an Alzheimer’s patient forgets a loved one's name, they can still remember how to play an instrument. Evan is raising money on a GoFundMe page to buy keyboards and ukuleles for his program, but people can play any instrument they want.

Credit: KFMB TV

He is launching a free music therapy program. 

"I am hoping to see if music is helpful to these people," said Evan. 

The teenager told us eight students have already signed up. Evan feels blessed by parents who bought him these instruments and music teachers who taught him how to play them. During our visit, he played his keyboard, ukulele, electric guitar, trumpet, saxophone, and bass clarinet.  

"You see people who don't necessarily have the same opportunities as you know there were people who helped you in the past, who have helped me in the past," said Evan.

Credit: KFMB TV

I asked him if he had a name for his music room. 

"I just call it my office," said Evan. 

An office, this teenager has filled with music, a huge heart, and a bridge of hope. 

"There we go, we can be the bridge," said Evan. "It will make me feel like I've been successful which is a nice feeling for sure."

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Evan chose the ukulele and piano as instruments because they are relatively easy to start learning and are cost-effective. Patients can borrow the instruments. The program will start off with online music lessons with the hopes of transitioning into face-to-face lessons. For more information and a link to Evan's GoFundMe page click here.

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