Do you have problems with your speech since your brain surgery or any brain trauma?
I have had speech problems and word finding and speech ever since my brain surgery. I knew it could be a long term problem and only time would tell.
As a child, I loved singing. I'd be singing along to the radio and using my hairbrush as a microphone and waving at my invisible audience and thanking them for their praises. When I was 5 my parents bought me a FisherPrice cassette tape recorder. It came with some Disney Sing-a-Long songs. I would be singing along for hours, recording myself and feeling very ‘pop star' like!
As time went by my songs went from Disney to Kylie Minogue and Whitney Huston. I would spend hours singing away.
I was starting to sing at karaoke nights and just start belting out Madonna songs and Take That. In College, I had a weekend job and used all my money on karaoke discs and equipment. I'd invite friends over to sing and get the duets out.
Why can't I sing?
When I got home from the hospital after surgery I didn't want to confuse myself any more than I already was and decided to avoid listening to the radio or tv or sing anything. It was a week or two after my surgery I wanted to try and sing songs again. I put the radio on and went to sing along but nothing came out of my mouth. It was the weirdest feeling. It literally took my breath away trying to sing.
When I did get a word out, it was not the word I was singing along to. My heart sank as I thought to my self ‘I'll never sing again'.
How cruel this world can be
I had every intention to fix this. Thankfully I had all my karaoke discs and I started to use them to prompt me with the words to songs. It was not easy and my brain would literally go into meltdown when I tried to read the words on the screen and my voice didn't match with the songs.
I started singing very simple quiet songs and practised every day. As time went by I found the more I was singing the more my speech was getting better. I realised that singing was a great way for anybody struggling with word finding.
I am 11 years down the line since surgery and I still need the words to a song in front of me but, I am ok with that. I'd rather that than never sing again.
If you love singing and struggle with this, find the free app called Smule Sing on Android or iPhone and you can sing along with people from all around the world. The music and the words come up on the screen and it is really easy to work out.
I am so grateful for things like this, so I don't have to give up on one of my passions.
Here are 2 recordings I made on Smule:
Singing the song ‘Say You Won't Let Go' with James Arthur
Singing the song ‘Oceans' from Hillsong.
Here is a song I did last week with a guy called Matt from America.
Check out more music from Matt James HERE