About Stroke A Chord

The Stroke a Chord choir began in 2010 following an observation from stroke survivor Wendy Lyons that people left without speech after their stroke (a condition known as aphasia) could still sing. Being able to sing allowed this group of people a chance to hear their voices again and express themselves through song. Thus the Stroke a Chord choir was formed. Supported through an initial partnership of Croydon Stroke Support group, Maroondah City Council and Yooralla, the choir is now in its fifth year and meets every Tuesday afternoon to rehearse and to socialise with their peers who truly understand what it is like to live with limited communication. This joyous and inspiring group of people get on with life and have become entertainers in their own right who also play a valuable role educating others about aphasia.

[IMAGE] choir members Rhonda and Graham before a concert
Two choir members, Rhonda and Graham enjoy the sunshine before a concert.

[image] Choir members look into each others eyes.
Choir members have a special moment.


Stroke-a-Chord is a choir composed of stroke survivors with aphasia (loss of speech after stroke). The members can sing even though they cannot speak. The choir first sang at a performance for family and friends in September 2010. Over 160 people attended and the choir members reported increased self confidence and improved self esteem as a consequence of this successful performance.

The Stroke-a-Chord choir made their official public debut performance on 17 September 2011 to a sold out crowd at the Karralyka Centre in Ringwood, and have continued to perform each year since. By performing in public the choir members will experience further increased self esteem and improved social communicative interaction which both contribute to improved quality of life.

Performances provide positive emotional experiences, are invaluable opportunities for self expression and they “showcase” the stroke survivors developing abilities in music and singing.
Benefits will be felt by choir members and by friends, family and carers of stroke survivors as they see their choir member active, happy, and participating fully and equally in a creative event.

There will also be benefits for others through raised awareness about stroke specifically and disability in general (particularly communication difficulties). This will lead to increased awareness of stroke prevention and greater community inclusion for people with disabilities. It is also expected that there will be benefits to the Arts Community with awareness and inclusion of diverse populations in mainstream Art and Culture.

Funding will be used to employ a Music Therapist who will work with a team of stroke specialists to elicit best performance from each choir member. Evaluations will occur after each performance…