Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Sing For Better Health groups

Our four weekly singing groups are for older people, and those with long-term health problems (e.g. breathing difficulties, Parkinson’s, Depression, Altzheimer’s, MS, Stroke, Heart conditions, Cancer, mental health problems etc.)

They are also a great chance to make friends and have fun! You don't have to be able to sing!

Their aim is to improve health and wellbeing, using a combination of relaxation/ stretching/breathing exercises, and singing songs together. We want to support people with long-term health problems cope better with daily life, help to prevent illnesses, physical/ mental deterioration and resulting social isolation.

These are the results of the newest research project 
into the benefits of singing on health and well-being, conducted by a student at the Medical School of Sussex University, using our singing groups.

Breathing and Posture:
  •  71.5% increased control in breathing
"It has helped me a lot in learning how to get over periods of breathlessness and get my breathing back into control"

  •  24% increase in exercise tolerance
"I couldn't go up a short flight of stairs without resting twice and I couldn't go up the street I lived in, [...]. since I've started the singing class, I can do both things."

Speech:
  •  14.2% increased vocal projection
"I've got Parkinson's and it's helped me feel better. I was never depressed but it has lifted my spirits even more and it's helped me project my voice, and it's given me confidence."

Social and Mood:
  •  81% created new friendships

"But what is good is we notice if someone hasn't been well for a long time. We ask where they are and if they are alright. We care; we miss the people that aren't here."

  •  19% felt able to join other groups
"I think a lot of older people. I know I do, just feel as if they're a nuisance and in the way. When I am here I get over that quite easily."

  •  71.4% increased their sense of happiness
"It's made me appreciate life and it's good."

Healthcare professionals and medication use:
  •  24% decreased number of GP visits
"I feel that I've spent less time going back to my doctors with flare-ups of my COPD."

  •  9% decreased hospital admissions
"[...] have been able to stay away from my doctor and the hospital and avoid the use of antibiotics and steroids."

  •  19% decreased medication use
"I haven't had antibiotics for at least a year now."

With thanks to:
R. Wheatley, student at Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Dr. K. Walker-Bone, BSMS 
Dr. L. Marshall-Andrews GP, Futurehealth
Dr. S. Andersen, Futurehealth




The groups are led by trained voice coach and music therapist Udita Everett, Polina Shepherd is the piano accompanist.

Benefits:

Singing profoundly benefits health and wellbeing – this is the experience of our group, which is also generally well documented.

  • It improves posture, breathing and lung function (see research of the Sidney De Haan Reseach Centre for Music & Health)
  • It strengthens the immune systems (see research of University of Frankfurt).
  • People fall ill less, leading to a reduction in medication and visits to doctors and hospitals.
  • Singing improves mood, relieves depression and isolation, reduces stress levels, which often come with long term illness or old age. The experience of group singing is unifying and uplifting. Many of our group members live in isolation, they look forward all week to our meetings. They form supportive friendships, talk and laugh together, have fun. The tea breaks are an important part of our meetings, and we regularly have lunch together and meet for other social events.
  • In a scan all areas of the brain light up while singing – physical evidence for the stimulating effect of singing.
  • Singing helps to boost confidence through all the above mentioned effects, supporting people in coping with their health problems and resulting social difficulties in daily life.


Mondays 
1.45 pm to 3.15 pm
Patching Lodge, Eastern Rd, Brighton (next to Bingo Hall, corner of Freshfield Road)
Bus routes 1, 2, 7 and others. On-street parking in Freshfield Road/ Place, £3

Tuesdays
1 pm to 2.30 pm,
St. Richards, Egmont Road, Hangleton

Fridays 
11.30 am to 1 pm
Elizabeth Court, 65 Wilbury Rd, Hove (corner of Cromwell Road).
Bus route 7 and close to Hove train station,  £3

Starting in November 2013:
Saturdays: 2 - 3:30pm
Brunswick Surgery,18-19 Western Rd, centre of town (corner of Upper Market St) 


All groups meet weekly.

Udita runs a weekly singing group every Thursday for the Brighton and Hove Mental Health Recovery Service, Buckingham Rd, Brighton.

All venues have disabled access.

Donate to local charities at Localgiving.com

For more information:
Call Udita Everett on 01273 556755 / 07969 129992 or email me
www.uditamusic.co.uk

Current 'supporters' and past funders: