Just before Christmas, a special vocal ensemble made its debut at the annual Festival of the Trees in Albuquerque, a fundraiser for the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation. Comprised of individuals recovering from brain injury, alongside family members and supporters, the Neuro Choir was organized by Jessica Richardson, Assistant Professor in UNM's Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences.
Choir members may be recovering from stroke, brain surgery or traumatic injury, and facing obstacles such as language problems, speech difficulties or social impairment. The Choir accommodates these needs. But "one of the reasons we were passionate about rolling this out," says Jessica, was to create an opportunity for socializing. "Social isolation. It's literally a killer. Life participation and social networks shrink after you have a brain injury, and not just for the person with the brain injury, also for their care partners."
In this longer version of the interview, Jessica talks about the possible connection between making music and brain injury recovery and about the ways in which the University's Center for Brain Recovery and Repair is working to help individuals with brain injury.