The Silver Swan and Her Stroke: First Songs as Last Songs


  • Kaja Weeks ITS:DTS (Developmental Therapy Services), Inc.


This is a view of a massive stroke followed by rare communications through singing and vocalizations between an elegant lady born by the Baltic Sea almost 100 years ago and her daughter (the author). A reflective true account with story-like narration, it conveys the intersection of a musically rhythmic but "pitch deaf" mother and classically-trained singer daughter at their final crossroads.  The stunning scene of hearing her mother, unable to speak, but singing "with full power and nuance, like a glorious Wagnerian soprano," has the author first considering the extrordinary plasticity of the brain, and then, as a daughter, the poignant meaning of her mother's sounds, who like the Silver Swan, "sung her first and last, and sung no more."

Author Biography

Kaja Weeks, ITS:DTS (Developmental Therapy Services), Inc.

Developmental Music Educator at Interdisciplinary pediatric clinic.




How to Cite

Weeks, K. (2017). The Silver Swan and Her Stroke: First Songs as Last Songs. Ars Medica, 11(3). Retrieved from