Woman Learns to Speak Again with Music Therapy

Speak Again with Music Therapy

Cathy Flowers suffered a stroke last May and was not able to open her mouth on her own. She was told she’d never be able to move or speak again. They were wrong. She learned to speak again with music therapy.

“They had no clue,” said her husband Billy. “They had no clue how strong she is. She’s way stronger than I could ever be.”

Therapists at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston would have to prop her mouth open to brush her teeth or feed her food.

It was her husband Billy – a musician all his life – that wanted to try music therapy. During Cathy’s first music session, the therapists were playing Jonny Cash’s “Walk The Line” when she suddenly started to sing. It was the first time she opened her mouth on her own after the stroke.

“I played music pretty much all my life,” said Billy, “We were together in a band, her and three other girls and three other guys. I thought that if we had music therapy, it was just kind of something fun and good for her to do. “I had no idea that it might lead to her being able to do what she did for the first time. I mean, I was just unbelievably touched and I was glad I had it on video. I’ve watched that video a thousand times.”

Cathy continues to make progress every day and can now have simple conversations.


Neil is the former Online Editor for Making Music Magazine and tested his skill with tickling the ivories once, but since having been part of the team at Making Music, he might give it a second try.

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