Keeping music in the community in 2020
It has been known for some time that group singing can provide many positive benefits, both physical, emotional and social. For those suffering with Parkinson’s Disease, it can increase vocal strength, breathing and swallowing control.
Research in both music therapy and neuroscience has shown that music synchronizes neural activity, improves cognitive motor responses, sensorimotor, and speech / language symptoms.
It’s more than just the shakes
Parkinson’s is so much more than just the “Shakes”. It can strike at any age, Abi’s GodMother was just 28 years old when she was diagnosed with the disease in the late 1990’s. Things have come a long way since then. But while there are now better symptom controls there is still no cure.
Parkinson’s disease is different with each person, it affects the muscles and can take away the ability to move. It can affect any group of muscles including the facial and eye muscles. Parkinson’s Disease can affect the ability to make facial expressions, to focus, to swallow and speak.
Making music and singing can almost be thought of as the ideal therapy for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Singing and music making is well known to aid brain functions as it places unique demands on the nervous system. Leading to a strong coupling of perception and action mediated by sensory,
motor, and multimodal integrative regions distributed throughout the brain* Music making is also thought to promote the brain’s neuroplasticity.
It has also been well documented that both contrast sensitivity and colour discrimination, can be affected early in course of parkinson’s disease. These changes in contrast sensitivity and colour vision and tend to be quite subtle early on, but ultimately tend to progress. Poor contrast sensitivity has also been associated with an increased risk of falls as the condition progresses.
Singing combines exercise, creativity, fun, teamwork and most importantly, friendship. Long time Allegro Optical client and friend Liz Ryan says “singing is a bit like physiotherapy – in terms of the positive effects it can have for voice, lungs, posture etc”.
Liz is one of the founders of the On Song Choir for Parkinson’s Sufferers which meets every Wednesday at 1 pm in the Salvation Army Hall in New Hey. Liz said “Following diagnosis we each find the best way to face the future. Singing is accessible, achievable and – can make a huge difference.
We were lucky enough to attend the performance. It was a pleasure to hear all the ladies, including Liz, sing with series eight champions.
We will be singing for more than their supper
It is our pleasure to support the choir and to name the On Song Choir as Meltham’s community group of the year for 2020. We will be holding a number of awareness and fundraising events throughout 2020 to help promote this inspiring group of people who we are proud to consider friends.
#Anang JB, Gagnon JF, Bertrand JA, Romenets SR, Latreille V, Panisset M, Montplaisir J, Postuma RB. Predictors of dementia in Parkinson disease: a prospective cohort study. Neurology. 2014 Sep 30;83(14):1253-60. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000842. Epub 2014 Aug 29.