British Lung Foundation
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Singing on the NHS for lung health

You may have seen several posts recently claiming the benefits of singing for lung health. I would broaden that claim by saying add social and general well being. By joining a choir you meet new people, get out of the house, exercise your lungs and importantly your chuckle muscles. Please note for most local choirs you don't have to be a Pavaroti or Katherine Jenkins-just enthusiasm willingness to join in and have good time.

If you are into signing petitions here’s a worthy one about GPs being able to prescribe singing- what a great idea! Drug free. Here’s the link:

petition.parliament.uk/peti...

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I agree and I'm lucky enough to go to a session on a Monday in Mold. Its run by the health authority and there is a facilitator for the singing and also a physiotherapist present. I'm lucky to attend as I live over the border in Chester.

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Brilliant. I'm in a choir called Coastal Voices we meet on a Tuesday night in Abergele (I live in Conwy). Its the highlight of my week, love the fun, singing and company.

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Yes they do it in my area too but I would have to travel by bus which is expensive and infrequent as I don't have my own transport so that is out I'm afraid. x

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That's really great Tryfan . I've always been self conscious about singing. I can imagine the benefits socially, mentally and physically are good. When I was young, I played the flute in a symphony orchestra and my lungs were quite robust then. Quite a bit of exercise.

I hope Ergendl sees this. A very avid singer I think.

Thank you for this information.

Cas xx 🍀

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Caspiana. Please just find a local choir, leave self consciousness at the door and walk in. Everyone there had to do the same at the start. If you can buddy up to start, all well and good.

Flute sounds really interesting. Do you still play? The reason I ask is I have started to play the Clarinet. Started about 6 months ago, went well at the beginning, then I had a chest infection about a month ago and had to stop. Just restarted. I'm unable to find any information as to whether blowing an instrument is good for lungs or not. I take the view that any exercise must be good, strengthening lung and chest muscles and learning breath control has to have a positive outcome - I hope. But would love to find some research. Does anybody have information?

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You know I often wonder that myself. I'd imagine the blowing helps and we can always stop of it gets too much. The clarinet requires more exertion than the flute. I took it up for a short spell when deciding whether to take up the clarinet or the oboe. Both such beautiful sounding wood winds. 😊

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Beautiful sounding - hmmm! That depends in whose hands! I think the Oboe must be more difficult - having one reed to contend with is enough for me.

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😊😀 🎶 It can be beautiful sounding. 😇😃

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Hi Tryfan, I have heard that playing wind instruments is very good for the lungs but you need to ensure you clean everything thoroughly and often as bugs can accumulate.

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Thank you. Its as I suspected.

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I was diagnosed with COPD in June last year. I read that singing was good for lung health but it didn't really appeal to me. So, after a lot of research I decided to learn the saxophone and I am loving it. I am convinced it improves both my emotional and physical wellbeing. I am very much at the early stage - learning scales, strengthening my embouchure. It is difficult because of the COPD but I feel it is worth it because it is also very satisfying when I manage to play a tune all the way through!

My experience of learning a woodwind instrument seems to be confirmed by some research I found: sciencedaily.com/releases/2...

Good luck with learning the clarinet.

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Thanks for that. Up to reading the paper it felt right. But great to have science on your side.

Best wishes keep practice going and you can buy disinfectant type spray to keep things hygienic. Look for Dawkes music if your interested. Also hood advice on reeds etc.

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Unfortunately I sound like a cat being drowned when I hum a tune! BUT I do go line dancing once a week and I love it, have met some awesome people and it's real good fun and easy to pick up too, it's not like ballroom or anything too tricky. Really I think any group activity is good especially for your mind. Walking groups are great too I think but I walk daily with my dogs anyway and always chat to the dog walkers we see.

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Yesterday our local Breatheasy group in Eastbourne started a new singing group led by a singing teacher. We enjoyed ourselves and I think we were all pleasantly surprised with what we could achieve. We even started to learn harmony.

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I was there too and thoroughly enjoyed it - even though I can't really sing any more.

xx Moy

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I hope more people from Eastbourne are using this site and come and join us next time. 😀

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It will be good if they do! xx Moy

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Have signed the petition and find music does seem to help many people as even disabled can often just sit and listen

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Hi Tryfan, I love the idea of this as i love singing, but am so off key Im sure they would pay me to stay away, I can hear myself how off i am but am unable to correct it ha! Have signed the petition as I feel this would benefit so many people, may look into a instrument instead. Irene x

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Hi Tryfan (Can you climb it?). I'd sign a petition saying GPs should be able to prescribe membership of instrumental groups. I've played saxes and clarinet for most of my life but now at 79 and with COPD, I can only just manage. I'm sure more opportunities to play would help the COPD but, in this rural area, those opportunities re non-existent. Your petition signed.

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What did you find the most challenging clarinet or sax. After 6 months, apart from the occasional screech beginning to make music that people can identify.

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Clarinet. In fact I can no longer play clarinet because of essential tremors. I had to give up tenor sax as I can't play that from my wheelchair (too large and heavy) but I manage alto and soprano saxes by using new mouthpieces with small tip openings (less breath needed). I also play flute. I see from a previous post you live in delightful Conwy. I'm from Llandudno but exiled in Norfolk. :-(

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Norfolk. I'd miss the mountains and the sea. Not sure if you asked had I been up Tryfan. Yes, several times. Have done all but one of the 3k peaks. Somewhat curbed by asthma and developed afib. Possibly as a result of too many exertions. My clarinet prowess leaves much to be desired but I enjoy it. Only have a beginners but I'll hopefully progress. We are very much involved with Lldno lifeboat (my wife) and me with Conwy lifeboat. Keeps us busy. Take care.

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I live in Swinton Manchester and would love to be able to access a choir to help my lungs, so if anyone knows of one please post x

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Yes - Damien runs a group in Manchester - email him at caulbearersmusic@gmail.com or see if group listed here blf.org.uk/support-for-you/...

I know he may have changed venue recently so check with him first

Good luck!

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Thank you Doxy66, I will! 😀

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I’ve had a look but unfortunately he’s 6 miles away from me 😞 nothing closer x

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oh shame - well there should be plenty of other community choirs around - best if you can find someone I trained as part of the BLF singing for lung health programme (i started the work 10 yrs ago at Brompton hospital) but as long as you pace yourself, some singing better than none - sorry to hear about the seretide I am hearing this more and more but dysphonia (hoarseness) can be due to so many different factors - keep gargling/rinsing and singing when you can - oh - you could buy my CD to sing with at home? not the same but at least you could use this for the technique and then join a regular singing group? rbhcharity.org/shop/singing...

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Thank you so much doxy66. I would love to buy your CD, but sadly I don’t have anything to play it on 😞.

But wonderful that you have done this, maybe I need to speak to hubby as he’s been asking what I would like as a Xmas pressie x

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I am going to put the CD onto CD Baby next month so you can buy it digitally

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I just want to say that for those of you who have found their singing ability is not what it was, I found that I could barely sing at all when I was on Seretide, but since I have changed to a pro ellipta my voice had returned.

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I’m on seretide 500 twice a day and find I have no voice 😞 consultant is changing me to another inhaler but can’t remember the name right now, hope this helps x

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Good luck 😁

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Signed and posted the petition on FB.

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Yes! More groups coming to Wales this year and next - I trained a number of singing leaders in Cardiff earlier in the year and will be coming to Mold to do more training in November - this is a great video demonstrating the work vimeo.com/228864602 and this is a good piece of research nature.com/articles/npjpcrm...

I started the work 10 yrs ago at Brompton hospital never thinking it would explode the way it has - it really does change peoples lives. Amazing. All best. Phoene

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

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Hi Tryfan, I’m not far away from you in Prestatyn :)

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