*Mondays at 2:30p at the Miller Center/YMCA in Lewisburg*
*Wednesdays at 1pm over Zoom*
Bloomsburg Music Therapy LLC has partnered with the Lewisburg YMCA at the Miller Center to offer a program for people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners to work out all those little muscles involved in singing and speaking while providing a source of social support in a fun and engaging setting. The program, offered completely free of charge to all participants thanks to a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation, is provided virtually over Zoom on Wednesdays at 1pm, and seasonally in-person at the Miller Center in Lewisburg.
Music is medicine for people with Parkinson’s disease. The rhythm and melody of song provide a musical scaffold for speech while regulating the velocity of verbalizations and promoting mindfulness and intentionality.
Singing songs you enjoy increases the availability of dopamine, a key neurotransmitter involved in mood, learning & reward systems, the initiation of movement, motivation, and sleep cycles. The act of singing recruits additional neural networks not involved in speaking alone, so people who are not able to speak clearly may find they are able to produce louder, more understandable phrases while singing.
During our warmups, Singercise participants practice evidence-based techniques to increase speech intelligibility and strengthen or “work out” the muscles involved in speaking, singing, and breathing. All participants have a voice in choosing repertoire, and songs are chosen based on ease of learning, skills required in performing them, how easy they are to learn and remember, and preferences of the group; you have more to gain from a song you enjoy singing, than from a song that feels like “work.”
DOES IT WORK?
Singercise is designed and facilitated by a board-certified music therapist and is based on numerous peer-reviewed studies and feedback from facilitators of Parkinson’s choirs and therapeutic singing programs across the country, and around the world. Participants complete pre- and post-test measures every 12 weeks to measure efficacy, and the program is continually adjusted to meet the needs and objectives of the group.
While Parkinson’s is a degenerative condition, there is hope for maintaining and even improving mood, quality of life, and your ability to speak more clearly.
Interested parties may register by calling 570-316-1899 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What People Are Saying About Singercise:
- “I would recommend the program to anyone who has Parkinson’s, as I have found it to be enjoyable and it has proved to help improve my speech and my outlook on life in general.”
- Especially during the pandemic, programs like on line SIngercise brings fun interaction to me. The focus on breathing and enunciation are keeping my communication skills in practice.
- “Singercise has contributed to my ability to speak in a fun and informative format. I appreciate that it is on Zoom.”
- “A friend recently commented on how much better I was speaking and sounding.”
- The biggest improvement is with the volume and projection of my voice.”
- “My husband and I find the program to be enjoyable, and both of us have seen some positive results.”
- “I enjoyed the camaraderie of the group, especially Alysha. She is dynamic and makes a good leader.”
For more information on the benefits of singing for individuals with Parkinson’s, check out my previous blog post here.