Sunday, July 18, 2010

Song Communication

I’m so proud of my friend Nancy, who is a speech, language, and swallowing therapist. She has been selected to present at the national American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) conference in the fall of 2010. She will speak about her techniques for helping stroke victims regain their ability to speak through singing together with others. I am particularly pleased about this because she hired me to edit her proposal to ASHA so I was personally invested in her success. While I worked with her, Nancy taught me a little bit about what she does; and it’s fascinating. The cutting edge research about language loss and reclamation demonstrates that people who have lost the ability to speak because of a stroke can often communicate through song. Apparently the part of the brain that processes language is a different part of the brain from the part that processes music. So some people can learn to speak again through singing therapy. Go figure. The brain is a mysterious instrument. Imagine if you could only communicate in song? That would be a challenge for me, I’m sure; however, my husband knows so many tunes that he probably would be able to say whatever he cared to say by singing a line from a song.

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