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Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson's Centre

Parkinson's Blog

Singing for Parkinson's

On Dec 16, I was invited to the West Shore Parkinson’s Support Group. A happy hour and a half was spent doing VoiceWorks with the lovely folks there. We explored our physical edges, warmed up our voices, drew breath and sang. After some call/response and circle singing, the group composed a funky blues song that really got us groovin’.

On the technical side, I was particularly interested in how different VoiceWorks exercises could address some of the challenges accompanying Parkinson’s. Singing helps keep voices strong, and the body wash and massage techniques help people re-connect to their physical structures. As people with Parkinson’s lose feedback about muscle use, VoiceWorks movement patterns help get muscle extension going. Breath work and visualization help strengthen air flow and speaking volume. Improvising gives a good brain work-out. All great stuff.

And, even more importantly, singing feels good, improves mood, circulation and neurological function — something we can all use. It was great fun to sing with the Westshore group and I send many thanks for the invitation.

Posted by Margot Johnston on 6th Jan 2015 11:17am