The CBR hosts Neurological Choirs Workshop

10 July 2017
Shari Storie RMTh and Alison Talmage RMTh lead the CeleBRation Choir.

Now in its second year, Music Therapy Week took place between the 1st and 10th of July 2017. The focus of these events is to raise awareness of music therapy, support and develop music therapy practitioners and highlight all the great work happening around the country.

In Auckland, Music Therapy New Zealand and the Centre for Brain Research co-facilitated the Music Therapy Week Neurological Choirs Workshop, hosted by Professor Suzanne Purdy, Alison Talmage RMTh and Shari Storie RMTh.

There is a growing national and international interest in professional practice and research in the area of singing for people with communication difficulties related to a neurological condition, such as stroke, aphasia, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and traumatic brain injury.

Keynote speakers included the University of Auckland’s Speech Language Therapy Senior Lecturer Dr Clare McCann, Robin Matthews SLT, a senior Speech-Language Therapist and a PhD student at the University of Auckland, who also founded and leads The BrainWave Singers, a neurological choir for people affected by Parkinson’s disease in the Bay of Plenty, and Megan Berentson-Glass RMTh, from the SoundsWell Singers, Wellington, a neurological choir that she co-leads with Penny Warren RMTh.

At the end of the day, everyone enjoyed a stimulating array of skill sharing, research updates, networking, discussion of direct, consultative and interdisciplinary (music therapy and speech-language therapy) approaches, and an interactive session with the CeleBRation Choir.

Dr Clare McCann, Senior Lecturer in Speech Language Therapy, presented her insights at the Workshop.
Robin Matthews (middle) is a senior Speech Language Therapist and a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland.