Losing the voice can have a major impact on one’s quality of life. There is a growing body of evidence that shows that singing can help people living with Parkinson’s retain their voice quality for longer.
Playing for Cake has brought Sing to Beat Parkinson’s (STBP) to North Norfolk! Click the following links to find out more about our local Singing for Health group sessions. You can also join our sessions live online!
We have Singing for Health Practitioners trained by STBP to ensure we can deliver the highest quality sessions for our participants and their carers. Most importantly, we guarantee that these sessions will always be fun!
Practice at home:
Exercises you do regularly at home makes all the difference. Here are some ideas to help you get started or keep going!
See tips, advice and exercises for People with Parkinson’s to help improve speech (PDF) from our team Speech and Language Therapist, Louise Lim. You may also be interested in Louise’s Recommunicate Speech YouTube channel for breathing and vocal exercises to help improve voice quality and abdominal breathing (which supports the voice, reduces stress and anxiety and improves lung/general health) . YouTube Videos to help you continue your practice at home/between sessions published by the Sidney De Haan Research Centre.
Videos for some singing practice at home by Helen Hayes (Singing for Health Practitioner working in Suffolk): Sing with Helen on YouTube!
Search YouTube for karaoke songs – there are lots! This can be great fun and help provide some practice between group sessions. However, remember to warm-up gradually, don’t strain your voice, drink plenty of fluids and cool down gently afterwards to your normal speaking voice!
Search ‘Accent Method’ on YouTube for some good NHS resources for vocal practice, including diaphragmatic breathing, at home.
Order a free DVD from the British Lung Foundation (BLF) website – ‘Stay Active, Stay Well’ here. This DVD shows how you can be active in your own home at a level that’s right for you. It takes you through a warm up, aerobic and strengthening exercises as well as a cool down and stretching. Although produced for people with lung conditions, it is also suitable for others. It includes tips on how you can manage breathlessness and setting yourself goals.
The BLF also has some advice online to help keep yourself healthy and exercise at home for better lung health.
Watch members of the Skylarks singing group in Kent in action and find out more about the benefits of singing for people living with Parkinson’s or find more detailed information from the ‘Singing and people with Parkinson’s’ report (PDF) published by the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christchurch University in 2012.
Find out more about STBP, research and the type of training our practitioners have attended here (video published by Sing to Beat Parkinson’s and filmed during a training event in 2018)
Our members tell us frequently how singing with others improves their symptoms and quality of life. Here’s a report in ‘Medical News Today’ (2016) that also evidences these findings!
Parkinson’s UK runs various support groups across North Norfolk. See here more information about the North Walsham and Aylsham group (led currently by Andy Harding). Andy is currently running weekly online meetings (including lots of fun activities!) during the coronavirus outbreak.