Last night I was in my kitchen cooking and my husband was in the lounge watching television. I love to cook and also listening to music while I cook. Usually something upbeat that I can sing along to. I love to sing along to songs I know – sometimes I may not absolutely know all the words – but it is a joyful expression to sing and I want to embrace it.
Then there is the husband factor. Don’t get me wrong, he was happily watching some programme of his on TV, but he was not far away and would hear me singing. At first, I felt a bit self-conscious that he could hear me and so I kept my singing in the ‘not so loud’ range. Then I thought about it. Vocal exercises are supposed to be good for us Parkies people. So, I thought, maybe singing in my kitchen at the top of my lungs – he could always close the door – might actually be vocal therapy! So why not? I looked up online whether singing was good for Parkies people. It turns out it is. Here is a bit of an excerpt I found on a study into singing for Parkinson’s.
Singing is an accessible and popular form of musical activity. It involves physical functions, such as engaging the vocal apparatus and respiratory system (Leanderson 1988), as well as mental functions through emotional expression (Welch 2005). From a neurological point of view, singing is a complex activity that integrates auditory and sensorimotor processes in the brain (Wan 2010). When singing, speech‐related mechanisms, such as respiration, phonation, articulation, and resonance, are directly stimulated (Sundberg 1987)Irons JY, Coren E, Young MK, Stewart DE, Gschwandtner M, Mellick GD. Singing for people with Parkinson’s disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Feb 26;2019(2):CD013279. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD013279. PMCID: PMC6395961.
If you want to read the full article here is the link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6395961/
I have had input from a Speech Language Therapist in the past, but I find it hard amongst all the other things I have to fit into my life, to find the time to do formal speech exercises. I know I should try harder. But maybe if singing is therapeutic, I should make a conscious effort to sing more? If it’s fun and it’s therapeutic, surely that’s a good thing!
So, I think I will try to sing more and sing louder when I cook and get those vocal chords working, the lungs pumping and the brain stimulated.
Poor husband may need to shut that door from now on!