British Lung Foundation
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Singing for Lung Health update

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/...

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thank you for that. I have three groups close to me. I have been contemplating joining a community choir for some time but this has prodded me to get in touch. Just hope this is for bronchs as well and not only COPD.

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All the groups are suitable a trained singing leader can help you

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Well done doxy for the excellent work you are doing on behalf of all with a lung condition. Would it be possible to list the groups, so we can find out if we have one is our area please?

cx

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hi cofdrop. if you go to doxy's link you can follow it to a list of groups in your area by putting in your postcode. I hope you find some.xx

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Thanks littlepom. Not one near me. Not to worry - no cross contam that way.

cx

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actually from my point of you that may be an issue. Think I might join Sunny Side Up choir in Stratford instead.

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That's a cheery name for a choir. Enjoy.

cx

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What happens if like me,someone is completly tone deaf?

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We have a number of hard of hearing and groups like Wiganwarblers not about being perfect xxx you shouldn't be turned away

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In the BLF trained groups I teach usual hygiene around hand washing, covering mouth with a tissue when coughing and disposing well etc covered - and strict instructions adhered to that no-one turns up with an exacerbation and the singing leaders mustn't come if they have a cold or cough.

The groups now cater for bronchiectasis too (as well as restrictive conditions such as ILD) and many who come with the former say it helps lot with sputum clearance - a general community choir or a sing a long group run by someone not trained by me will do you no harm, but remember it is a different thing entirely - it is fun distraction but will not focus on singing though long phrases or give you particular exercises to manage your breathlessness better. The singing leader will also not know about lung conditions. Of course, everyone needs choice, but be aware there is a difference. Singing for wellbeing, different to singing for breathing (although the latter contains the former too - if you get my drift!)

If there is no BLF group nearby do email singing@blf.org.uk and say you reckon you could get at least 10 people to come along! We can then see where there is need and interest and try and find and train a singing leader to run a group where there is need, rather than the other way around! Groups rely on a combination of charitable funding and small participant donation - we are plugging away with the research and evaluation to get more CCG funding, which some groups already have.

Good to have inspired some of you to get singing - it gets you out the house, is safe, fun and works physically, emotionally , socially and mentally!

Oh and Sc99By542 doesn't matter at ALL what noise you make! Singing for Lung Health happens to use the breathing methods we use in singing to help control the symptoms of breathlessness - although we promote safe singing though good posture and as good technique as possible (as some of you who take a lot of inhaled steroids might have a hoarse voice) but it aint what you do it's the way that you do it and you will probably find out that a) you are not as bad as you think and b) you will improve but go try it out, really doesn't matter

blf.org.uk/support-for-you/...

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Yes I agree experience of lung conditions and it's effects is good at Wiganwarblers the singing leaders family have personal experiences of the effects.

Over time the experienced leaders get to see and know their members all contribute to help us.

All groups should have gel tissues water and information packs available

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