Hanford is a piano teacher and freelance accompanist. Visit his website at www.hanfordlam.com
Published July 15th 2017
Sing and eat your Thursday evenings away
The Booroondara Stroke Support Group has a hub at 533 High St, Kew, where the Sing for Recovery Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings at 6pm. These nights are casual practice sessions interspersed with laughs as the choir works through the repertoire and subsequent harmonies.
Sing for Recovery Choir - Singing at a hospital
All music is chosen by the choir members which boosts participation effort and concentration - something that choral singers sometimes struggle with.
The rehearsal lasts for approximately 75 minutes ending with a feast generously donated by neighbouring bakeries and cafes. Expect to have both your musical and physical appetite well taken care of by the end of the night.
Over the course of the past year, there have been many changes to the volume of members and Sing for Recovery is very proud to say that numbers are picking up this year. Roma Cunningham, choir member, has even started a Facebook page to promote the choir's activities on social media!
Another aspect of this choir that is unusual is that they often perform on Saturday afternoons for the public. A variety of music is rehearsed and presented at regular hospital visits including St. Vincent's Private, St. George's, Royal Talbot, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Box Hill Hospital, and many others.
This offers a very meaningful experience for many of the choir members as they know first-hand how much their singing contributes to alleviating boredom and sadness in the wards. The focus of the singing is to bring joy to the community, in particular, stroke survivors.
Vivienne Harkness is the furnace in this organisation, being in charge of everything from arranging hospital visits to picking up the sumptuous food donations. Following a Diploma in Marketing, Vivienne has gone on to establish Red Nose Day as the National Fundraising and Event Director for SIDS. Perhaps there is a hospital or rehabilitation ward that you may like the choir to sing at? Have a chat to Vivienne!
The choir also participates in community events like fundraisers and various other paid performances to showcase their singing and to encourage new members to join their ranks. They have even sung with local MP, Josh Frydenberg!
Christmas carolling at Tassals
All ages and all levels of singing ability are welcome, including those who have suffered from stroke and are struggling with recovery. There are stroke survivors with aphasia who come along to these gatherings and absolutely revel in the camaraderie and love.
This choir is a supporter of the ideology that stems from melodic intonation therapy which proposes that singing can develop the right hemisphere of the brain to regain performance of tasks such as speaking.
The Booroondara Stroke Support Group hub also caters for other individuals who may be interested in volunteering for working bees, or those looking to join a support group.