Stroke a Chord turns four!

Stroke a Chord turns four!

On May 13th Stroke a Chord celebrated four years of support for people who cannot speak but can sing. They celebrated in style with a fabulous Birthday cake and of course lots of singing.

Photo of birthday cake with the words 'Happy 4th Birthday Stroke A Chord Choir' on it.

Our fabulous Birthday cake was donated by ‘Tasty Az’ catering, a local catering business which provides hospitality training for young people with a disability. It was a magnificent sponge with fresh strawberries picked that morning from one of our outer east strawberry farms.

Photo of Russell, Deb and Rhonda talking about choir highlights

Russell, Deb and Rhonda talked about choir highlights

The choir for people with stroke and aphasia (loss of speech after a stroke) was started in 2010 by community partners Croydon Stroke Support, Maroondah Council’s CommunicationAccess Network service.

It is currently staffed by Yooralla’s Music Therapist, Anja Tanhane and Yooralla’s CAN service Speech Pathologist Bronwen Jones. It is also ably supported by some fabulous volunteer musicians and wonderful carers/partners of choir members.

People with little or no speech after stroke can often sing and the power of hearing their voices again has had an enormous emotional impact on the choir members and all who know them.

Phot of Jack and Wendy talking about the four years since the choir began and the wonderful experiences the choir has provided for everyone

Jack and Wendy reminisced about the four years since the choir began and the wonderful experiences the choir has provided for everyone.

The choir started with 14 people singing favourite well known songs and now has almost 30 people who learn new songs, perform harmonies and even sing solos.

The choir has gone from strength to strength, with three sold out annual public performances, publication of a book of their stories (Voices) and a documentary available for purchase or online viewing.

The choir received birthday wishes from friends around the world via an international interest group which was initiated in partnership with California State University. The group “Aphasia Choirs Go Global” celebrates the positive impacts of singing for stroke survivors with little or no speech and also promotes self-advocacy, community education and empowerment.

Photo on left the basket of chocolated raffle draw. Photo on right of Gus and Brett chatting under a helium balloon

(Left) A raffle was drawn for a basket of chocolates. (Right) Gus and Brett chatted under a helium balloon.

Photo of Erin and Robyn enjoying the celebration

Erin and Robyn enjoying the celebration

For more information go to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/strokeachord

View the choir documentary on: www.disabilitybusters.com

Purchase the book of their personal stories “Voices” on the Yooralla website www.yooralla.com.au

By Bronwen Jones