Research in to the benefits of singing

Hi there. Recently there was an article online about Linda Ronstandt) stating that she as PD and this is the reason why she can no longer sing. I phoned my dad (who has PD) to ask if he can still sing and yes he can. Then I went to a presentation on brain research. See the article above about how singing can help people with PD.

12 Replies

  • I have formed a singing group and have a speech therapist on board to help us improve our voices so that we can speak better and be understood and strengthen our voices to help us with the singing.

  • Hi 3wishes. I have sung for many years, probably longer than Linda. I found that, at the time of being diagnosed my confidence to stand on stage had deserted me and my voice was very shaky. I stopped singing for many years. When I had recovered enough from many of my movement symptoms and had regained a lot of my self- confidence, I started to sing again to the old people, with whom I live. My voice is not as good as it was, but what do I expect at the age of 79. I do find that I get a lot of phlegm in my larynx, which does not help, but I can still sing.

    Kind regards


  • John, I found replacing cow's milk with goats milk solved the phlegm problem. I have to avoid anything which has cow's milk - a bit of a bore but made swallowing especially at night easier. If you do switch let mw know your experience.

  • Hi bigmmama. Thanks for this info. Are you able to get goat's yoghurt?

    Kind regards


  • Yes, very nice too!



  • Thanks Val


  • Both dairy and wheat can cause phlegm. It's worth experimenting by cutting these out of your diet completely for a week to see if it makes a difference.

  • Hi HealthSeeker7. Thanks for this info. I will stop eating yoghurt for a week and see what happens.


  • About a year ago, on one of those excellent Radio 4 (UK) health programmes, there was a short piece to the effect that it is now thought that the voice may be one of the first faculties to be affected by PD, long before tremor, rigidity, hand-writing changes, dyskenesia, etc are first noticed. The latter are what send most of us to our GP for diagnosis, of course. Usually the changes to the voice are initially too small to be apparent to the person affected or an observer, but require analysis electronically.

    I used to have a reasonable bass voice and enjoyed singing, harmonising, with a choir; it still is good at times but has gradually become unreliable in the sense of volume and timbre, although pitch remains good. Looking back, this may have started fifteen, even twenty years ago. I was first diagnosed about 7 years ago when tremor developed and one of the side effects was to make it difficult to hold a music score steady, made worse by the tension of the occasion. .

    Singing is generally recognised as being good therapy anyway, whether or not a person has PD or any singing ability. So to .3wishes, JohnPepper, bigmama and the rest of the singers, all power to your elbows, enjoy and don't give up! God bless

  • Thanks for your replies. I am most interested in the benefits of music and singing for lifting my dad's mood and his spirit. He mostly just sleeps and watches sport on t.v which drives my mother a bit crazy. He has bad depression and doesn't let her have friends over, so she goes out a lot. On a positive note, she takes him to the Parkinson's gym once a week and that seems to perk him up. The first sign of shaking was in his oesophagus. This makes swallowing food a bit hard. He also has a bit of dementia, but a better long term memory than my mum!

  • Hi I have PSP and sm still singing- it helps slow me down and is great for making music wuth others



  • I have PD and was diagnosed in 1994 at age 54, but was told by more than one neurologist that my start date for PD was probably about 1988. I have many symptoms of PD but never developed the Parkinson's tremor. One of the things that bothers me the most, however, is the "freezing" in place of my feet, which often feel as if they weigh 200 pounds each and I can only take what I call "stutter steps." Strangely enough, one day as my daughter was helping me walk ad we were singing, we discovered that when we sing (and believe me it isn't pretty) I can actually walk in long steps and quite quickly and comfortably. We love to walk to the tune of "I could have danced all night" from the musical " The King and I", but it really doesn't matter what you sing (or hum), it really works for me. I know this isn't a big thing, certainly not a medical breakthrough, but it takes something that is really debilitating and makes it bearable. A number of months ago I saw a feature on network TV which said the same thing, and I am here to tell you that it surely helps

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