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  • Joe Escobar replied to the topic Linda Ronstadt and PD affecting her voice in the forum Parkinson's Disease Symptoms 1 year, 1 month ago

    As a professional trombonist and vocalist, I have been very concerned about losing my voice and the ability to play. I’m still booking gigs and performing, but I think I have noticed a change in how my voice feels when I sing. I’ve been having a little stutter in my speech where I have to really think about what I’m going to say, or I will repeat a phrase two or three times. That has not been an issue when I’m singing at this point. My trombone playing appears to be affected mostly when I’m improvising in my jazz quartet. Phrases that I have played for years, have become difficult to play now, unless I slow them down. Which is something else I found. I was having trouble signing my name until I realized that if I do it slower, I can sign it just fine. It’s almost like my mind is responding slower. When I play trombone in the orchestra, I don’t really have any issues, and I think it’s because the music is very straightforward and regimented, and you’re just reading a part, where as in jazz improvisation, you’re creating a new melody line on the fly. It’s really frustrating when I watch videos of myself playing a few years ago where I could get around the horn so easily, something that just doesn’t happen anymore. I can still play a decent solo, but I have had to rethink how I improvise.

    • Hey Joe!

      I’ve been trying to get my Dad to sing ever since he was diagnosed (2013). There’s alot of evidence out there that says music helps PD patients for a variety of reasons. If you do end up finding that you have it, being a musician might work out to your benefit. But I know there are speech therapists that help Parkinsons patients target changes in the voice. My Dad boxes at Rock Steady Gym, and part of their regimen is shouting. It seems like the more you use your voice, the slower it declines. Or so I hear. In any case, I’m sorry that you’re seeing changes in your craft. I’m a pianist and guitarist myself, and I certainly understand the importance of music.

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