The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to stay at home, but it has actually opened up the ability to get people from around the world to essentially sing together. The message is of unity and hope.
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (PRWEB) November 23, 2020
Sing Aphasia today announced the release date of their latest premiere titled, 'What a Wonderful World'. This 7-minute feature film by Sing Aphasia and Neuro Music Therapy LLC has the ambitious goal of connecting individuals with aphasia with virtual choirs around the world and helping find their voice through music. The premiere is scheduled for Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 1:00 PM eastern standard time.
“Watching the final product of this video has been a whirlwind of emotions,” says Dr. Gillian Velmer, Founder of Sing Aphasia. “This has been a dream of mine since I created my first aphasia choir at Kean University's Center for Communication Disorders in 2013.”
Aphasia is a speech and language disorder affecting around 2 million people in the United States alone. It is a result of brain damage, typically due to stroke or traumatic brain injury. This damage can cause an impairment in one’s ability to speak, write, listen or understand, and read. Aphasia does not impact intelligence, rather the parts of the brain that help with communication. According to a recent Aphasia Awareness survey from the National Aphasia Association (NAA), less than 10% of the general public have heard of the term ‘aphasia’.
This project was a collaborative effort between Sing Aphasia and Neuro Music Therapy LLC. “Back in March, Trent Barrick from Neuro Music Therapy, contacted me about an idea for a Zoom choir video. We wanted to make an aphasia choir video using my connections to directors of aphasia choirs” says Dr. Velmer. “We immediately got to work and put the word out through social media and started recruiting singers, making practice videos, and working with participants over live Zoom calls."
“The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to stay at home, but it has actually opened up the ability to get people from around the world to essentially sing together. The message is of unity and hope. We taught the singers how to record themselves via Zoom or their personal devices, like a cell phone."
“Singers then wore headphones and sang in sync with the practice track so we could hear their voice. Each individual video was edited by a video producer and audio engineer – so that it looks and sounds like everyone is singing together in a choir," continues Dr. Velmer.
Dr. Velmer notes that the motto for this project and her organization is, “You can do hard things. You can learn new things. Our goal is to challenge our singers and empower them to try something new, while having fun and connecting with others."
About Sing Aphasia: Sing Aphasia is an organization devoted to spreading international awareness of aphasia and offers affordable classes for people with aphasia, families, and allies.
About Neuro Music Therapy LLC: Neuro Music Therapy exists to educate, advocate, and provide evidenced-based music therapy and neurological music therapy services to populations across South Florida.