Aphasia often presents after a stroke or a head injury has caused damage to the parts of the brain responsible for processing and producing language. Aphasia is not a hearing impairment and does not affect intelligence. However, a sudden loss of language ability can feel very frustrating and can leave people feeling isolated and depressed.
Some people with aphasia find that although they can’t speak fluently, they are still able to sing – particularly familiar songs which they know well.
Research supports singing as an effective therapy for aphasia; through engaging the brain’s right hemisphere and encouraging the brain’s ability to make adaptive changes termed neuroplasticity – rewiring the brain.
We know that singing, particularly in a group, can help to improve people’s mood and emotional well being. When we sing, we release endorphins, serotonin and dopamine – the ‘happy’ chemicals that make us feel good and boost our self-esteem.
Read about how singing can support stroke survivors here.