I find is fascinating that speech is formed by the left side of our brain, while singing, though it uses the same muscles, is formed on the right side of the brain. That division may have saved Mr. Harvey Alter, a stroke survivor, from never being able to speak again.
After his stroke, and the resulting Broca's aphasia that is caused, Mr. Alter could say only short words after month of therapy. Now, the conversation is flowing with much less difficulty thanks to melodic intonation therapy, a therapy that helps stroke victims learn to speak again by first teaching them to sing.
In today's New York Times(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/health/22stro.html?_r=1&th=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&emc=th&adxnnlx=1208867443-SaFTSaS+Lm2ZuHy3sjUsiw), the details of the therapy, as well as Harvey Alter's dramatic recovery are both touching and inspiring. "Happy Birthday" opened the door to a new life for him, the confidence to believe that he could heal himself. So while music may be good for the soul, melodic intonation therapy makes it also good for the mind.