Saturday, March 14, 2015


Amy Shissler
My Cerebellar Stroke Recovery
July 5, 2013

My speech therapist wasn’t there when I told my student clinician(I do speech therapy at a university) that I’m taking singing lessons.  She was so thrilled when she found that out that she wrote me an email.  Here it is…….

Hi Amy,
Sorry I missed you last week; however, I was on vacation with my family in Hilton Head.  I spoke with Emily regarding your session and she informed me that you are now taking voice lessons.  This is great news!!!!  I am so interested to hear how you like them and if you notice any changes in your voice as a result.  There is some research on the use of music / rhythm / Melodic Intonation Therapy in the success with patients who have expressive language deficits as a result of a CVA (aphasia).  As Emily probably discussed with you, music engages the right side of the brain in the production of speech (as language and speech are primarily left brain).  This is also why we utilize “chant therapy” to engage the right brain.   This has been noticed in individuals who stutter (these individuals can sing fine; however, when they speak they may still stutter).  I look forward to discuss this with you further next week, enjoy your holiday!!!!! 
We may have to do a session of Karaoke :0)

Now, a couple of my thoughts.  First of all, I will NEVER do karaoke, ever.  Second, it’s a good thing I chant all the time in yoga.  Third, ok………….I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my speech therapist.  She’s awesome and amazing!  Love her.  However, I’m confused about something.  In a year and a half of going to this speech therapy I have never been challenged to raise my voice high and use a higher pitch.  The reason for this is because I have a lot more control, as does everyone, at lower pitches.  My first day of the singing lessons he had me go as high as my voice could go.  But this is speech therapy it’s not singing therapy.

As Dean said once “The problem I have with Peter is that he is constrained with staying within the approved therapy guidelines. That silo is not where the breakthroughs in stroke will occur.”  No, it’s not.  You have to think outside the box, and try things that you never thought you’d try.

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