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PAH patients find their voice

14 September 2018

Patients in Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) Spinal Injuries Unit have struck a positive note with the launch of a peer-led therapeutic singing group—the Singing Cords. 

With the direction of international singer Tim McCallum, up to 20 patients and staff meet regularly at the hospital to rehearse and foster a sense of health, wellbeing and harmony. 

Mr McCallum, who was left with a permanent disability after a diving accident, said singing was a great way to promote respiratory therapy while also creating togetherness.

“We all know what music does to the soul, it enriches peoples’ lives,” he said. 

“I believe respiratory therapy is just as important as physiotherapy, occupational therapy or hydrotherapy.

“And who wouldn’t want to learn more about their body and respiratory health by singing.”

This Disability Action Week (9–15 September), Physiotherapist Brooke Wadsworth said the Singing Cords helped empower people with disability while also raising awareness of disability issues. 

“When everyone sings, they’re in harmony in more ways than one,” she said.

“There’s a real sense of community and peer support.”

Ms Wadsworth said there were big plans for the group and that next year a collaborative clinical research team would be officially investigating the benefits of therapeutic singing.  

“We’re really looking forward to launching the Singing Cords Project next year, and having the opportunity to get some solid data on the benefits of respiratory therapy and singing,” she said.  

The Singing Cords Project is a peer-led program supported by The Hopkins Centre, which is a joint Initiative of the Division of Rehabilitation, Metro South Health, and Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University. Spinal Life Australia, Affiliate Partner of The Hopkins Centre has provided partial seed funding for the program that will launch next year. To learn more about the project or to get involved email:

Last updated 14 September 2018
Last reviewed 14 September 2018

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