More than two million people are affected by aphasia in the United States.
Of those, 12% are impacted by specific phenomenon known as Broca’s Aphasia, typically following a left-sided stroke, where although the individual may lack the ability to communicate through speaking, their ability to sing words continues to be preserved. This preserved skill is often used by music therapists (MT-BC’s) to rehab an individual’s ability.
To address this need, we created and are thrilled to introduce the Rocky Mountain Aphasia Chorale!
Aphasia choirs are popping up all over the country to give individuals with aphasia the opportunity to focus on what they are still able to do: sing!
According to the National Aphasia Association,
“Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to injury to the brain-most commonly from a stroke, particularly in older individuals. But brain injuries resulting in aphasia may also arise from head trauma, from brain tumors, or from infections.”
The Rocky Mountain Aphasia Chorale is a community chorale formed around this idea, that people with aphasia often have a preserved ability to sing, and a choir is a wonderful opportunity to showcase and celebrate the strength and resilience of this community while making beautiful music together. “We have seen a great improvement in my sister since she started the music therapy,” explained the sister of one participant. “She is now able to sing songs and even communicate with words and sentences. It warms my heart when she says ‘I love you.’”
In addition to helping participants get their words out clearly, studies show that music can enhance moods after a stroke, and our participants also get a natural mood boost by being surrounded by a circle of supporters as they work toward their goals.
Membership for the Rocky Mountain Aphasia Chorale is open to people with aphasia, their caregivers, and healthcare partners in the community who work with individuals with aphasia. The choir launched in June, but singers can join up until mid-October.
The chorale is an effort by the music therapists at Rehabilitative Rhythms Music Therapy in Aurora, in partnership with the National Stroke Association and the Rocky Mountain Stroke Center.
To learn more about choir schedules and registration, visit our click here!