Singing, Laughing, and Humming Can Bring Little Victories

Lori DePorter avatar

by Lori DePorter |

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Recently, my husband, Mike, commented on my ability to recall song lyrics. When we are in the car, I start singing along to any song that comes on the radio. Granted, most of the time it is classic rock, but I also cross into other genres.

I have never received music therapy, but I am a firm believer in the power of music. Having fun and singing in the car is my therapy. The various songs serve as my therapist and the car is my office.

Recalling song lyrics may be enhancing my memory and serving as an unplanned method of treatment in my care plan. At the very least, singing is beneficial for my voice. And if laughter is truly the best medicine, Mike and I get a healthy dose of it when I decide to start belting out a song.

Where do the lyrics come from?

Growing up, the men in my life influenced the music in our house. My dad, Batman (as I call him), always hummed and still does. Now, with his Alzheimer’s disease, we know it’s a good day for Batman if he’s humming.

My brother, Brian, always had the latest and greatest albums. He played them loudly and frequently. Who could imagine those jamming sessions more than 35 years ago would plant the seed for my memory recall now, and that I would also hum like Batman?

Albums and record players are making a comeback

Yes, I said my brother had albums. A few years ago, most people under the age of 40 did not have any interest in retro vinyl. However, vinyl albums and record players are becoming popular again, making them difficult to purchase. We received one as a gift for Christmas. Well, actually, we received a picture of one that’s on back order until July.

Digital music platforms are more convenient, with customized playlists that allow you to listen to your favorite songs. However, vinyl is making a comeback. The younger generations are embracing the retro platform. They are experiencing the feeling you get pulling the album out of the jacket, spinning it around, and hearing the slight crackling of the needle as you discover an unexpectedly great song. The song may not have been a “hit,” but it stayed with you.

And who can forget the albums with holographs on them? They were so cool! Looking back, I distinctly remember the Styx album titled “Paradise Theatre” with a hologram etched on one side. It was a prized possession and never to be touched by me.

Although my recollections are imperfect, and I rarely know the song’s artist or title, they give me a sense of victory — one that is lost when I become anxious at the thought of forgetting where I parked my car. And when I forget the words and start humming, it’s another win. I have another connection with my dad.

We notice the big victories in life, but the little victories have become important to me. Try to find one every day and embrace it. One little victory, as simple as a two-minute morning meditation, can change your entire day.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

Comments

Mr. Bradley avatar

Mr. Bradley

Thanks for sharing your story. Music as medicine. Extra points if it's got a good beat and you can dance to it. I've only had PD for 3+ years now but I've been collecting vinyl records for over 50 years. 10,000 45s and 1,000 LPs make for a great soundtrack and definitely improve my mood. I even get together with fellow vinyl enthusiasts a couple times a month for a Platter Party where we spin obscure oldies for each other. My lovely wife even joins in the fun. Our local Rock Steady boxing class features a great set of tunes each week as well from our instructors I-phone. There are so many ways to produce our own dopamine and this is one of the most fun.

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Lori DePorter avatar

Lori DePorter

Thanks for sharing...I am an RSB coach as well and we are online. I often break into a "dance break" between rounds!

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