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Finding your voice: Recovering speech after stroke through singing

When I was training in Music Therapy, it was thrilling, especially as a singer, to discover that there were techniques that were scientifically-proven to be effective for aphasic clients who are recovering their speech after a stroke:


It's one thing learning about it, but it is another when you are actually with someone who is facing the stark reality of life without being able to express themselves through speech. The frustration, the anxiety, the trauma for them and their loved ones... which is why it is such a wonderful feeling to be able to bring something to these clients and their families that works so effectively.


The beauty of music therapy is that it is not only incredibly effective - largely because the modality stimulates the brain in a way that nothing else can - but it's also such a creative, gentle, versatile and uplifting modality. I feel as though I am not only bringing a genuinely useful intervention but something that has the power to touch people, bring back memories, make people laugh, move, sing and connect with each other.


Melodic Intonation Therapy - How does it work??

The therapist sets a target phrase to music

'My name is Tony'

The melodic shape must include a leap with the stress in the sentence and the rhythm must match the contour of the phrase

There are several steps that take the client from humming to singing, to imitated speech.

It's not always effective immediately but with repeated practise the words start to come!!

The client has to tap the beat with their left hand to further engage the right hemisphere

of the brain




By tapping into the right hemisphere's music processing capacities, which are often preserved post-stroke, MIT can bypass damaged language centres in the left hemisphere and promote speech recovery.


When working with clients, I will often write their own personal songs that incorporate the target phrases.


Contact us here at info@thisinnervoice.com to find out more about this and other interventions.

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