Music and parkinsons

Hi everyone

There was an interesting look at PD and music as part of Dara O Briain's Science Club series. Have a look on iPlayer. It is episode 6 and it won''t be up much longer...

As a musician myself I would be interested to hear of any effects that music, listening, practicing or performing has had on your PD
Hi Johnny

I listened to the recording on I-player.
I am a musician and have had parkinsons for 9 years. I played the viola & violin & taught as a peripatetic.I had to take early retirement a year later and gave up playing as it was becoming impossible to carry on. I was devastated to the point of finding it difficult to even listen to music without getting very upset as from a teenager it was all I wanted to do with my life. Luckily I had a husband & GP who were very supportive.
I managed to turn my life around and have managed achieve things even with 'parky'
I am still able to play the piano a bit although not very co-ordinated but now get a lot of pleasure listening.
Our local group have an exercise session which I attend and as soon as the music starts for us to move in time to I become completely free and it is though I have nothing wrong with me. It is an incredible feeling! So I am certain that music does have an effect on the brain & can help with movement.
Hi Johnny

There’s not only personal testimony about the value of music, but research work too. For an overview, check out

The Institute of Education has done a lot of research into the value of the arts in keeping older people active - arts beats other forms of activity! Go to and follow the links through to “NDA Findings 9"

Closer to home for us is the work of the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, which does the closest you’ll get to randomised control trials on the benefits of singing for a range of conditions including Parkinson’s. It’s a lot more fun than speech therapy! Download the guide at

Hope that helps

Hello, my name is Gemma. I'm from Málaga. Spain. I have parkinson from 28 years now I have 39. In each I start off that I have to listen to music, dance, song ... and goodbye to off. I have a profile on facebook musicaparkinson where my experiences with music. Here you have a link for you to see the effect it has on my music -. a big hug gema
great video Gemma
excellent dancing - some funky (is that the right word nowadys) moves. I shall watch it again
Please see my post above which I wrote before seeing this thread.I wonder whether playing from a music score or playing by ear makes a difference. My husband can still play his melodeon to an acceptable standard. He can read music but plays by ear as most players of traditional music do.

big grinThanks all for these responses.

i have nothing profound to add. Only, keep playing. To whatever level. 

I would not have believed 10 years ago that I would still be able to play and sing to this (not very high)  standard. It gives me enormous pleasure and occasionally others too.big grin

It is well worth comparing the effects of the different meds we have to take.

L dopa was great for gait but by the time I hit the the really high doses the dyskinesia made it impossible to play . Then apomorphine alone. The results of this can be seen in my YouTube channel,. Look for the Dyskinetic Guitarist and then find my other attempts.

now I have had DBS and I have glimpses of almost 100% dexterity.

never give up. If you stay musical you'll never regret it