My speech therapist wasn’t there when I told my student clinician(I do speech therapy at a university) that I’m taking singing lessons.  She was so thrilled when she found that out that she wrote me an email.  Here it is…….

Hi Amy,

Sorry I missed you last week; however, I was on vacation with my family in Hilton Head.  I spoke with Emily regarding your session and she informed me that you are now taking voice lessons.  This is great news!!!!  I am so interested to hear how you like them and if you notice any changes in your voice as a result.  There is some research on the use of music / rhythm / Melodic Intonation Therapy in the success with patients who have expressive language deficits as a result of a CVA (aphasia).  As Emily probably discussed with you, music engages the right side of the brain in the production of speech (as language and speech are primarily left brain).  This is also why we utilize “chant therapy” to engage the right brain.   This has been noticed in individuals who stutter (these individuals can sing fine; however, when they speak they may still stutter).  I look forward to discuss this with you further next week, enjoy your holiday!!!!!

We may have to do a session of Karaoke :0)


Now, a couple of my thoughts.  First of all, I will NEVER do karaoke, ever.  Second, it’s a good thing I chant all the time in yoga.  Third, ok………….I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my speech therapist.  She’s awesome and amazing!  Love her.  However, I’m confused about something.  In a year and a half of going to this speech therapy I have never been challenged to raise my voice high and use a higher pitch.  The reason for this is because I have a lot more control, as does everyone, at lower pitches.  My first day of the singing lessons he had me go as high as my voice could go.  But this is speech therapy it’s not singing therapy.

As Dean said once “The problem I have with Peter is that he is constrained with staying within the approved therapy guidelines. That silo is not where the breakthroughs in stroke will occur.”  No, it’s not.  You have to think outside the box, and try things that you never thought you’d try.

Categories: Brain stuff, Recovery, Rehab, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Exactly! My therapists love when I think outside the box and try new things. After that they try it on their patients or tell them about it because of constraint and limitations what they can do.

    While I won’t ever be singing in front of UN again (my thyroidectomy damaged my vocal cords), I am trying to at least get out of my monotone speech patterns with singing.

  2. <>

    This is another example of why I suspect much stroke therapy is misdirected for cerebellar stroke victims. There is, as far as I know, no ‘left brain/right brain’ distinction in the cerebellum as there is in the cerebrum. Or if there is, one can’t apply cerebrum ‘rules’ to the cerebellum one-to-one.

    Refutations invited!

    • Correct Rudy, there is no right brain/left brain distiction. Every stroke survivor has brain damage, every stroke survivor needs to work on the things they cannot do well. It doesn’t matter if it’s the cerebrum or cerebellum, you have to figure out what helps and do it a lot.

  3. But Amy you could go to a karaoke bar just to watch and listen to others. Maybe listening and watching the words go by on the screen will produce the same effects as action observation does for motor control. You could sing in your mind.

    • I think you just came up with a research study Dean. Although you do that a lot.

      • And you can be the guinea pig/ er. subject. After you listen to a few singers you’ll start telling yourself you can do better and your feet will lead you to the stage. Make sure someone records that for research posterity.

        • I actually read a time article a few weeks ago that talked about a study that was done where they had a test group learning how to play the piano. They also had half of the group thinking about playing the piano as well as practice it. They monitored brain activity the whole time. The group that thought about playing learned faster, and better than the group that didn’t think about it. And they had similar brain activity while thinking about how to play as they did while actually practicing. Pretty cool!

  4. Singing was super helpful for my intonation, and prosidy. Mine was right side deep, so no aphasia for me either. Strangely, my worst ST was the one that suggested it. It may have been the only positive thing she incorporated. She was lazy. I think she suggested it because she just sent me elsewhere,it ment less work for her. I fired her really quickly, but the singing was great! Good luck. Maybe you should go to the karaoke bar anyway, even if you don’t sing. Maybe Mr. Right will be there?? 🙂

    • Haha! Yeah maybe, but preferably I don’t wanna meet my next boyfriend in a bar. Been there, done that, never worked out too well.

      • This is totally different. It’s all in the sake of therapy.

      • You should try lots of singles groups in Pittsburgh. Thats how I ingratiated myself into several groups. Even a coffee and tea group.

        • I know, I have issues with meetup right now. Plus I’m too self-conscious about myself, especially my speech. I know I shouldn’t be. Unless you knew what happened to me you wouldn’t know anything, I’m working on it.

          • Good, Amy, glad you are working on it. You are wonderful! You have a crap ton more to offer (in friendships and as a love interest) than a lot of ladies your age. But, I tend to agree with not meeting someone in a bar… I feel similarly about the gym, though it is much better than a bar. My worst date was with a dude I met at the gym. We went to a movie that he picked… Total dude
            Movie, then he went ahead of me and as he purchased one ticket looked back and said, “oh!… Did you want me to buy yours?” I said, “nope! I can buy my own.” Then while waiting for the movie to start he asked me if I wanted to go to dinner afterward… To Panda Express. You can imagine his shock when, after the movie, he asked if I wanted to get in his car and go to dinner (we had met at the theatre) I promptly told him no and that he didn’t need to walk me to my car. He had the audacity to send me a myspace msg later the next day talking about how rude I was. Yep. Worst date ever.

            • Oh God that is a bad date! My worst date was when a guy took me to this place that’s half restaurant/ half arcade games…..not really a date-y place but whatever, so at the end of the date I offered to pay for myself and he said ok. THEN, he said to me “would you think it was weird if I used a coupon?” A coupon on a first date, note to guys – don’t do that.

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