The RPO STROKESTRA is a pioneering music ensemble formed of stroke survivors, carers, Hull Integrated Community Stroke Service (HICSS) therapists and members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). Developed in 2014/15, the ensemble uses specially-designed musical techniques with intrinsic benefits to a wide range of stroke rehabilitation needs including improved sensation, mobility, strength, flexibility, cognitive function, socialisation, communication, wellbeing and more.
Since February, STROKESTRA members have been busy working towards their next performance at St Stephen’s Shopping Centre as part of the national BBC Music Day celebrations on 3rd June. Twice-monthly sessions have seen patients, carers, therapists and RPO musicians devising and practicing brand new pieces of music depicting their lives in Hull and their journeys towards stroke recovery.
Beverley Wright, a new member of the group, recently explained what participating in STROKESTRA has meant to her.
“In the words of my sister, ‘it’s bloody brilliant!’ Once you get involved in the music you just forget all your problems for the time being. The music just transcends everything else. It’s so enjoyable and an honour to be playing alongside these brilliant musicians – it’s a magical experience. They are so friendly and approachable, and great fun to be with.
The benefits of being there from a stroke point of view are exercising the affected muscles and improving coordination but not even realising you are doing so – it just feels like fun at the time. The happy atmosphere lifts the spirits and gives a general wellbeing.”
More information about the project and contact information for Royal Philharmonic Orchestra can be found here.