Singing group for stroke survivors

`The Aphasiacs’, a Central Coast singing group for stroke survivors, is searching for more people to join the group.

Kate Maclurcan and John Wilson started the group after John’s wife suffered a stroke last year. Inspired by the Melbourne Choir group Stroke-A-Chord, Maclurcan began conversing with the group’s director Wendy Lyons and researching the positive effects of music therapy for stroke suffers, particularly those with aphasia.

John, his wife and Kate began the first session on May 20 with a booklet of 12 songs, a guitar and a packet of Tim Tams.Since then the group has grown, with up to 11 people attending each week and now, instead of only 12 songs, everyone is always suggesting their favourites and singing along.

“This group is purely for enjoyment and to improve everyone’s vocal production, but it is not therapy,” said Maclurcan. Despite not being considered therapy, the group has already seen success with individuals who are unable to speak or have limited speaking capability, easily singing and enjoying popular songs.

“Tim says he has trouble remembering words when speaking but can easily the remember pop songs of his youth. “Robyn’s vocabulary is limited to perhaps 10 words, yet here she is smiling and singing each verse in her soft voice,” said Maclurcan. `The Aphasiacs’ meet on Tuesdays in the community room at Erina Fair.

Email, 18 Jun 2014
Kate Maclurcan, The Aphasiacs