Norton neurological choir gives voice, support to patients
A new musical group through Norton Healthcare is giving patients a voice. It's not your ordinary choir. Regardless of pitch and tone, these performers are in perfect harmony.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new musical group through Norton Healthcare is giving patients a voice. It's not your ordinary choir. Regardless of pitch and tone, these performers are in perfect harmony.
Behind the notes and chords are memories of a full life. "I was able to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and I was able to sing at Carnegie Hall. I was blessed," Cookie Tolin said.
Tolin was a professional opera singer. "I lived and breathed singing."
Tolin's passion took a backseat. "A disease that's its own monster."
She was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis in 2015. "One day being able to walk to walking with a cane to walking with a walker, then being in a wheelchair and it's very, very frustrating."
Tolin finds peace here. "Well, it's fun! Singing is relaxing. It's hard to be a bad mood when you're singing," Craig Woolley said.
Tolin joins the group once a week at the Norton Neuroscience Institute. "But this group is more than a choir," Woolley sad. "Everyone in the group has neurological challenges. So, there's a common bond here."
Musical Therapist Kerry Willis recently started the neuro choir for her patients with Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Dementia and other conditions. "It's hearing. It's emotion. It's singing. It's speech," Willis said.
"Music helped me with the rhythm of knowing how to take a step, knowing how to move certain muscles because it was like a song," Tolin said.
More than anything, it's support. "The enjoyment of singing is brought back with out judgment," Tolin said.
"It's a group of friends," Woolley said.
It's a break from the struggles, as brief as it may be. "I may never have that again but at least I'm getting to be a part of something that I feel like I'm actually being a part of," Tolin said.
The group has its first performance on June 1.
The choir is open to anyone with a neurological diagnosis within Norton Hospital. The choir meets every Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. on the Norton Brownsboro Hospital campus in Norton Medical Plaza I, Suite 309. For details and to register, call (502) 559-3230.
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