Hi all. We have come a long way since Uditta started the first community singing group for COPD in 2008 in Brighton and a year later I started the first hospital based group at the Brompton. I have trained over 50 singing leaders now for the British Lung Foundation and there are 100 groups across the UK that we know about.
Participants tell us they learn more about how to manage breathlessness than in a PR class - and we always recommend both if you have capacity and there are groups nearby.
One of my favourite quotes is from Jeannie who after coming to class for a while said " “the physicality of it, it suddenly, all the conditioning that your voice and your lungs are all separate – suddenly it’s the whole body doing it and it was like ‘ah!’ I can use everything! The power is not lost just because your lungs are not working properly, you have got power everywhere in your body”
You really do not have to be able to sing, but enjoying music a good start! Gentle relaxation and physical warm up's are followed by musical games and teaching breath management through exercises and appropriate songs, singing through long phrases in a manageable way. The BLF are offering training to all singing leaders this year, including those who already run groups, to ensure best practice. Groups now welcome those with all lung conditions. Find your nearest group or buy a CD for home practice here: blf.org.uk/support-for-you/...