Bronx hospital choir helps patients with strokes or other neurological disorders

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new choir has been formed at a hospital in the Bronx to help patients who have had strokes or other neurological conditions.

It is called the "Montefiore Melodies", and the theory is that they can benefit enormously by singing.

The choir is made up of patients, doctors, therapists and other members of the Montefiore Health System.

"I think we sound pretty good together," said Ann Clifford, a speech pathologist.

She and Annalissa Vicencio, a music therapist, started the choir three months ago.

"I know the power of music to enervate the entire brain and not just it moves us physically but it moves our souls," said Vicencio.

The patients are dealing with impairments caused by a neurological disorder or a stroke.

Among them is Vivien Tellis. He is a retired Montefiore transplant surgeon. A stroke in August stole much of his speech, but not his ability to sing.

"I don't know, the words come for singing but speech not so much yet but singing it comes," said his wife Pat Brown-Tellis.

"The choir helps us get our vocals out because a lot of us lose that when we have strokes," said stroke patient Barbara Peters.

The choir also creates a sense of community and that can help boost confidence and gets patients back to socializing.

Here the harmony is healing.

"I love the fact there's camaraderie, fellowship, I have somewhere to be, to exist, to have fun. It gives me purpose," said stroke and cancer patient Wanda Muniz.

It is an hour of song with a lasting impact.

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