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    • #22191
      Mary Beth Skylis
      Moderator

      Music has always been really grounding for me. When I feel stressed out or sad, it doesn’t take very long before a song brings me back to my baseline. But I know people also use singing and music to combat some Parkinson’s symptoms. Do you use music to manage Parkinson’s disease? If so, is there a certain type to which you gravitate?

    • #22422
      RicH
      Participant

      You know how some people air-guitar when they hear music? For some reason, I’ve always been more of an air-drummer. I’m still in the early stages of PD, but the stiffness in my right wrist/fingers is there. Although there are hand exercises to help with that, they’re not exactly fun. So I picked up a pair of drumsticks, even though I don’t have a drumkit. But when I put on some classic rock, I work my entire upper body. All I know is that I feel energized as I do it!

      • #23854
        Janet
        Participant

        Have you ever played a Cajon?

        • #23942
          RicH
          Participant

          That’s a great idea, Janet! I’ve seen people play them but never thought about doing it myself—until now. I’ll look into that! 🙂

           

      • #23965
        Karla Burkhart
        Participant

        Singing has been a great help for me. It not only keeps my speaking voice strong but also my breathing and abdominal muscles. It has been a large part of my life since I was 12. I have sung with a number of groups over the years—some professional, some not.

    • #22424
      Troy
      Participant

      Absolutely! I listen to, play and create music not only as an outlet for creativity, but also as a coping mechanism. I’m a lifelong Beatles fan (born after they broke up) and so of course, they are my “go to” music when I want something to listen to.

      As well, I’m a drummer and I write a lot of music and now, in our digital age, I find I’m able to create a lot of new music that I couldn’t before. I have a band (I use the term loosely), The Night Owl Express (our name paying homage to my sleepless nights with EOPD), and we’re loving the digital tools that allow us to create more quickly than we could in the past.

      More important than that, I have found that even with tremors, shaking is kept at bay while I play the drums. I don’t know how that is or how long this will be the case, but I do find it to be interesting.

      • #23819
        Mary Beth Skylis
        Moderator

        Thanks for sharing, Troy!

        I’ve been a little bit curious about the different musical tools, myself. What kind of programs are you using, if you don’t mind me asking?

        • #23829
          Troy
          Participant

          Hi Mary Beth,

          I use GarageBand on my mac and a midi keyboard. I’ve included a YouTube link to one of my songs, just in case you’re brave. My friends are honorary band members 🙂 The important element for me is being able to have fun and express creativity. Thanks!

           

           

        • #23834
          Mary Beth Skylis
          Moderator

          Thanks for sharing, Troy! I like the beat. It’s catchy, and I can absolutely imagine how much fun it’d be to create something like that. I’ve been curious about what it takes record and deliver quality music. Is it hard to do?

        • #23857
          Troy
          Participant

          Thanks! It’s not difficult at all, though it can feel a little overwhelming at first due to all the options. And when I take too much time off from it, I forget how everything works! But you can’t really mess anything up and I strongly recommend for the fun!

        • #23852
          Karla Burkhart
          Participant

          I have been a singer most of my life and I still sing. I had to have some voice therapy a couple of years ago to help but I still sing. I can no longer play the piano so singing is my lifeline.

    • #22427
      Nancy Crockett
      Participant

      During the covid quarantine my voice lessons had to stop.  Also during that year I was diagnosed with PD. I A few months ago my lessons resumed.   I was more than relieved and pleased that I had not lost my singing voice during the 1 1/2 absence.  It is an assurance that all is not lost.  PD has not taken my singing voice.

      Listening to music that I  can sing with is helpful when I’m overwhelmed. It reminds me of who I still am.

       

    • #22480
      Alan M
      Participant

      Fredrich Nietzsche is quoted as saying, “Without music, life would be a mistake“.

      I concur when it comes to living with PD as well. Without music (to listen to, to play on me SSP’s, etc.) my life would no doubt seem less tenable. I used to sing in two male choirs before my health started to flag. Now my voice modulation has begun to suffer, and I struggle not to choke on an abundance of saliva (hyper-salivation).

      I am striving to learn to play the bagpipes — as I’ve wanted to learn this instrument for the past 35 – 40 years. It took me that long to be able to find and then afford tutored lessons online. I believe this will help me to focus on maintaining my fine motor skills.

      • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Alan M. Reason: two typos
      • #23820
        Mary Beth Skylis
        Moderator

        I love that Nietzsche quote, Alan. And I’ve often felt the same way. Listening — playing — going to concerts — they’re all important pieces of my human experience.

        That’s fabulous to hear about the bagpipe. What goes into playing an instrument like that?

        • #23859
          Alan M
          Participant

          Sorry for the delay in responding, Mary Beth.  I play the Scottish smallpipes — requiring both hands to play the melody (on a chanter that resembles a recorder kids play in school), but it also requires a vigorous right elbow/arm to drive the bellows to keep the three drones alive.

          I see a metaphor between playing this instrument and staying the course through Parkinson’s.  Playing takes dedication, desire to succeed, attention to moving our bodies in ways required, and the utter joy in achieving a superior frame of mind when playing.  Gotta love it!

      • #23855
        Janet
        Participant

        I’ve always said that there’s three things I absolutely cannot live without, water, air, and music! And that was before PD…

    • #23814
      Lamar Cartwright
      Participant

      Sure. I can’t imagine my life without music!

    • #23828
      Beth T Browne
      Participant

      Oh yes.  I found Easy Listening on my Cox Channel 948 and it is wonderful.  It helps calm me and relaxes me.

    • #23851
      Gauri
      Participant

      Ever sinse my childhood I have been a music lover. I love to listen to music I love to sing I love to play music I breathe music I think music my life is music. I took training in Indian classical vocal music before I was diagnosed with Parkinson. While I was learning Hindustani classical vocal I suffer from Parkinson and I was diagnosed with the same at the age of 41. Initially I did not understand what was happening with me as I could not accept the fact that my symptoms are on account of Parkinson.

      Meanwhile as I used to practiced singing day by day I found more and more difficult to cope up learning vocal music. The tremor, muscles twitching had become worst slowly.  I was unable to sit and focus on singing.

      Slowly people started asking me what was wrong with me as my hands and legs used to shake as though I had seen acghost.

      When I was asked by my teacher to persent avsmall mm lmrecitalin front of small group of audience I had to face great difficulty as audience could see my left leg shaking and moving rhythmic up and down while. Finishing with my song I was feeling very awkward as soon as the event ws over I rushed home as I was feeling very nervous.

      I remember the day when I had appear for practical exam of Hindustani classical vocal. Barely was I able to answer the questions and perform in front of the examiner that I finished with my practical and rest home hit the bed with the outburst of loud cry

      As I came across dr sana for physiotherapy and Dr Bhatt who gave me the right medication I gradually improved and my symptoms were under control..

      Today I practice each day and have achieved excellence in vocal classical music

      • #23958
        twok
        Participant

        you are a courageous w0man!

    • #23853
      John Citron
      Participant

      I play and practice my piano almost daily and put in about an hour give a take a bit on either side.

      Piano playing is also good because it’s a whole-body exercise program and is not just moving fingers as many people think. Keyboard playing requires relaxed muscles, postural balance, in the case of piano and organ, foot and leg movements when pedaling, just to name some of the things required in order to perform the tasks in an orderly and methodical fashion. There are actually about 30-plus little movements and tasks needed to play.

      With that said, I find that the movement and concentration help my Parkinson Disease. On good days, when the moon, stars, and sun have aligned and I’ve played well, I feel exhilarated as if I’ve gone out for a long walk.

      There was an interesting study done that shows that our body produces Dopamine when performing and listening to music, which makes sense.

      I also used music to unfreeze. I start thinking of a piece of music I’m working on and walk to its rhythm. This helps me get my legs going and unstick.

      • #23856
        Alan M
        Participant

        That’s brilliant John.  I never imagined these benefits playing keyboard!  Neurologically speaking, I guess using both hemispheres of our brain while playing has some definite cognitive benefits.  And then there’s the whipped cream atop — the Dp produced while listening to ourselves succeed in playing.  No downside.

        I play the Scottish smallpipes — requiring both hands to play the melody on the chanter, and the right elbow/arm driving the bellows to keep the three drones alive.  I see a metaphor between playing this instrument and staying the course through Parkinson’s.  Playing takes dedication, desire to succeed, attention to moving our bodies in ways required, and the utter joy in achieving a superior frame of mind when playing.  I love it!

        • #23889
          John Citron
          Participant

          Alan,

          Playing the pipes is awesome! A Scottish friend of mine learned to do that many years ago and loves it.

          I agree the use of both hands doing two things is one of the best things for our coordination. Recently, however, on my bad days I can’t play crossed hands or play polyrhythms well, and sometimes other coordination issues appear. If I have a bad day, I’ll take a break and find the next day is better.

    • #23886
      Clive Varejes
      Participant

      Hi guys,

      Yea, I also find music relaxes me, and when I’m relaxed I find my tremors ease a lot as well.

      I enjoy a myriad music from Classical to Jazz, Rock, the Rat Pack, the music of the mainly 60’s, 70’s  and bands, diva’s and individuals to many to mention.

      I used to play the guitar and saxophone, however unfortunately my voice leaves a lot to be desired, other than if you enjoy the sound of a vehicle gear box about to give up the ghost.

      And I must state with Jazz I love specifically New York from Soho, Greenwich Village, Upper West Side, and of course the Lincoln Centre. However as I live in South Africa it is a long trip.

      Sorry just reliving.

       

      • #23887
        Mary Beth Skylis
        Moderator

        Clive, thank you for sharing. I’m a fan of jazz, too. What made you stop playing?

        • #23901
          Clive Varejes
          Participant

          Hi Mary Beth,

          Although,  as I stated, my musical ability was severely limited, I did enjoy the sax, however bowing to pressure from my neighbours who started a crowd sourcing division to raise enough money to buy the sax from me, and facing life ending threats I decided to sell.        Ok, perhaps that’s not exactly how it happened.

          It was simply that I found that the tremors were hindering my limited playing ability.

          I still, very occasionally like to play around with a guitar.

           

           

    • #23890
      Gil Williams
      Participant

      My wife has Parkinson’s disease (she is about 5 years from first diagnosis. She takes singing lessons as that seems to keep her voice strong and can project when she is speaking.

    • #23898
      Janet LeBlanc
      Participant

      Yes music is very important to me I particularly enjoy\folk music . Bob Dylan ,dThe traveling WILLBURYS, MARY GAUTHIER.

    • #23908
      Pam Randles
      Participant

      I use it a great deal.  I go to SingLoud for PD every Wednesday. I participate in a singing group in my home town.  And I sing and play often.  It has helped, my mood more than other things.

    • #23974
      Gauri
      Participant

      Indian classical vocal music which I have been learning for so many years has got magical power. I have been learning since my childhood. Education in Indian classical vocal music has the power of healing mental strain and alleviated the Parkinson’s symptoms; not physical but psychological.

      While practicing Indian classical vocal music we say 7 notes, out if which the first note says “SA”. We can also say Om.

      Humming Om as the first note generates positive Vibes all around us.

      It purifies the environment around you and creates positive energy that feels you happier and stress-free. It helps you to focus and concentrate.

      As a matter of fact, chanting Om creates vibrations at the frequency of 432 Hz – the same vibrational frequency found in all things throughout nature. Om is the basic sound of the universe; chanting it symbolically and physically tunes us into that sound and acknowledges our connection to everything in the world .

    • #23975
      Gauri
      Participant
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