Last week we had a visit from the Parkinson’s choir ‘The Tremourloes’. The Tremourloes was set up by Janet Duffy from the local Parkinson Advanced Symptom Unit (PASU) and is led by Paula Odell for people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, their friends, family and carers.
The Tremourloes sang a wide variety of songs, including ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’, 'Oaklahoma', 'On The Street Where You Live' and ‘Dancing Queen’. The choir had everyone singing and dancing along, even with some air guitar! It was so lovely to see everyone getting involved; the choir brightened all of our days.
Paula said: “There are many health benefits to singing. Singing increases your sense of wellbeing because it is an activity which produces endorphins, helping to relieve pain and increase happiness. Singing on a regular basis strengthens muscles and keeps the vocal cords healthy. The 'correct' breathing method used for singing can also reduce anxiety and stress!”
We spoke to Rosie Watson, who attends both our day hospice and The Tremourloes, about what singing in the choir means to her.
“I first heard about The Tremourloes after my consultant recommended it to help my throat and my voice, which has been affected by Parkinson’s. I was really reluctant to go. I’ve never really sang before and some days my voice really suffers, I didn’t fancy singing in front of everyone! My friend was also in the choir and she encouraged me to go to help strengthen my voice, and that’s how I joined! It wasn’t what I thought it would be like. Now I always look forward to it, and enjoy it very much!
When you’ve got Parkinson’s you tend to be quieter and speak more slowly. It can be difficult to have conversations because people talk so quickly, and they move on before you have a chance to break into the conversation and speak. Joining The Tremourloes has definitely improved my speech and made me more confident. After singing in the choir, I can speak a lot better throughout the day. It has made me realise the importance of projecting my voice so that I’m heard.
The choir is so much more than just singing. We have lots of fun, it’s a really social group. My carer Tracy comes with me too. We really enjoy going to the choir, and we’re always singing around the house together!
Paula encourages you to do the best you can, and really believes in you. Especially on bad days, she makes you believe you can sing; even when I can’t! Paula always brings so much happiness to the group. She has taught me to take things at my own pace and that it’s okay to make mistakes; which is really important to remember.”
Thank you so much to Paula and The Tremourloes for performing for us. It was a fantastic afternoon and everyone enjoyed singing along!
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