The University of Newcastle, Australia

Stroke Survivors Making waves

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Two stroke rehabilitation study groups that formed the renowned BrainWaves choir will unite for their first ever combined public performance on Sunday, December 1, at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.

BrainwavesConducted by HMRI and University of Newcastle researcher Bernadette Matthias, as part of her PhD research into the impact of choral singing on stroke recovery, the choir will join other community vocal ensembles in a Christmas event titled Making Waves: A Celebration of Song.

Ms Matthias formed the original BrainWaves choir in 2012 in collaboration with Hunter New England Health's Community Stroke Team, the University of Newcastle and the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, with support from the National Stroke Foundation.

A second group was recruited in February this year, undergoing a 12-week singing course before making their public debut in June. The choir recently gained national prominence on SBS TV's Insight program.

While the results of the study are yet to be published, choir members have reported benefits in their communication skills and well-being.

"There appears to be a rich interconnection between the processes involved in singing and speech. So in addition to the benefits for well-being and depression, stimulating the brain by singing might help the language centre recover as well," Ms Matthias said.

"Some family members are reporting that choir members' speech has really come on since taking part on the choir."

When: Sunday December 1, 12 noon: Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Laman Street.

Phone: 4921 8900

Tickets: $12 Adult, $8 Concession, $5 Child (prices include GST) available at the door or via the Conservatorium Concert Diary.

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