“The skies above are clear again, Let’s sing a song of cheer again, Happy days are here again.”
If you have been to the North Shore Neighborhood House on a Thursday afternoon you may have heard the joy-ful sound of people singing. That would be the Stroke Centre’s Thursday music therapy group, which I have been facilitating since the Fall of 2018.
We have lots of fun singing together, and although having fun isn’t the goal per se, it does help in terms of motiva-tion and participation, which in turn is helpful in achieving ther-apeutic benefits for the partici-pants.
In fact, to the untrained eye the “therapy” aspect of a music therapy group can be easy to miss, as it resembles typical music group ac-tivities such as a sing along group with guitar, and also a tone-chime choir.
Many studies have been conducted showing music therapy to have significant benefits for survivors of stroke, including exercising cognitive function, engag-ing and stimulating multiple areas of the brain, im-proving and exercising the muscles and motor plan-ning for speech, and even helping in recovery of mo-tor ability and movement. Not only that, but group singing has been shown to be positive for emotional health, not just stroke survivors, as any of the world’s millions of singers would likely attest to.
~ by Johann McBee, Music Therapist