“I’ve been working as an occupational therapist with stroke patients for the past three years,” writes Maisie Reynolds in Thursday’s (1/19) Guardian (London, U.K.). “In December 2014, I was asked to go to a workshop with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which was coming to run music sessions with us … We met Tim Steiner from the RPO to brainstorm…. At the first session with the patients, none of us … really knew what we were doing or what was going to happen.… By the end of the session, we’d structured this incredible piece of music…. Over the course of the project, Strokestra, I saw all these people go on a similar journey. At first, they felt embarrassed to pick up an instrument and make a sound. But after six months we did a performance of the work they had done in the city hall.” During a task involving clapping in rhythm, “A lot of people told us this was the first time they had belly laughed since their stroke…. We’re running our own groups using music in one of our rehab units…. [Having] an orchestra come and show us the potential of it has given us the confidence to carry on.”

Posted January 23, 2017