I have only recently joined the forum and am surprised at how few posts mention the benefits of singing, and of music in general. I have directed a community choir for over 5 years. My diagnosis came just after I began leading the choir. At that time I never dreamt I would still be directing them over 5 years down the line. But here I am, still leading and enjoying every minute. The 140+ members have been a huge source of support and encouragement and although many times on a practice night I don’t feel like going, I invariably end up feeling so much better and generally uplifted. It has been proved that there are huge benefits to be gained from participating in a choir. These are many, including strengthening of the voice, breath control, and a general feeling of wellbeing, besides the social aspect- to name a few. I would encourage anyone to be involved in music making of any kind. It could only have a positive effect,
I definitely agree with you that singing give huge benefits in wellbeing but have struggled a bit with my participation since being diagnosed with PD. I’ve been involved with singing from a very young age and currently sing with a rather demanding chamber choir. Unfortunately I’ve found that singing really aggravates my tremor and initially I decided to leave the choir as I wasn’t really enjoying it any more. I’ve taken a term off and have been persuaded to return next term so I’ll see how it goes. I do a lot of singing at home though and will definitely look for somewhere else to sing if necessary so that I don’t lose the benefits.
Sorry to hear you had to give up the choir. I understand that this condition affects everyone differently. I used to sing solo a great deal but now my singing voice seems to vary from day to day and I have lost confidence. The repertoire in my community choir is probably much less challenging technique-wise than the one you were in, and maybe it would be of benefit to you to find another group with a lighter repertoire. I do hope you find some group which you can enjoy and benefit from, especially as the social benefits are also so valuable. Whatever you decide, just keep singing!!
Thanks Musical66. I also used to sing solo a lot but wouldn’t be able to now. I’ll definitely keep singing though. I’m going to continue with my chamber choir for the moment as the musical director is being very understanding but there is also a more local choir which I think would be less demanding so I might look at that as well.
I am newly diagnosed. However, one thing I have noticed over the past few years is slowly losing my singing voice - my vocal chords seem to tighten - at first in my higher register and now in my lower register. I have had some voice training so I know it’s not about technique and straining my voice. Has anyone else experienced this?
Is this linked to problems with speech and eating that I have read about?
It’s a shame as I really enjoyed being in a choir but I’ve lost confidence in being able to sing reliably.
Hi Rubyduby. That sounds very similar to the problems I’m experiencing which is why my chamber choir has become a bit daunting. I’m no longer able to meet the exacting demands of our musical director which has really knocked my confidence and that in turn makes my singing even worse.
I don’t know if there’s a link to problems with speech and eating and fortunately I don’t yet have those issues.
My first reaction on being diagnosed was to quit my choir but the MD has persuaded me to come back next term to see how it goes.I have read that singing really helps with keeping the voice going though for people with Parkinson’s Disease so I’d recommend that you try to continue if you can.
Many thanks for your response @Singing_Gardener. Perhaps joining a community choir might be the answer as suggested by @Musical66 as the singing will be less technical and I would feel less exposed if the voice wasn’t working.
You might be interested in the above link. I certainly found it very encouraging and was interested to note the additional benefits as well as just the physical ones.
My own experience of working with a community choir has certainly been very positive in many ways. Since my diagnosis just under 5 years ago I have lost my confidence to sing solo, but I sing a lot at choir rehearsals, with varying results eg at tonight’s rehearsal my voice was strong, but that is not always the case.
I would definitely encourage you to keep singing, and if you can get involved in a local choir, go for it! All the best for the future as you deal wit( this challenging condition.