Singing makes you feel good – and its value as therapy is becoming more widely known.
Music therapist Ali Talmage, co-founder of the CeleBRation Choir at Auckland University’s Centre for Brain Research, says singing can help stroke survivors, and others with neurological problems, to find a voice again.
As well as positive effects on brain circuits, singing can improve breathing and vocal strength – often a problem for people with Parkinson’s disease. For those with dementia, familiar tunes can elicit memories.
Recently, Ali started a new community music therapy group, Sing Up Rodney, in Silverdale and any adults living with conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s or dementia are welcome to join. Partner/carer participation is encouraged.
Around 20 people took part in the first session, on February 2. Among them was Aphasia Rodney chair Ruth Farrell, who also sings with the CeleBRation Choir. Ruth developed aphasia after a stroke caused by a benign brain tumour seven years ago. She loves music and says singing has improved her speech but that the biggest benefit is “sociability”.
Freeling Holt is proud to be part of the CeleBRation Choir.