Music can do more than just lift our mood or provide an outlet to express emotions—it’s also been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
To tap into the power of music for older adults living with the disease, the Parkinson’s Foundation is offering a special virtual program called “Singing with Parkinson’s” as part of its PD Health @ Home Social Engagement Series. The virtual program is free to attend and will be held Wednesday, July 13 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT.
The Foundation reports that participation in singing activities and music has shown to improve gait, breath support, mood, motor control and the ability to perform consecutive tasks in those living with Parkinson’s.
“Research in both music therapy and neuroscience has shown that singing can improve Parkinson’s symptoms,” the Foundation writes. “Neurologic music therapists design our Parkinson’s Choir to address limitations and struggles that occur with PD.”
The program will be led by Bridget Harper, LPMT, MT-BC, a neurologic music therapist with clinical experience with medical populations, older adults and memory care. Harper works with Perfect Harmony Health, a nonprofit founded in 2010 (originally known as The George Center for Music Therapy) providing music therapy and lessons for both children and adults.
“Research shows that rhythm and music affect multiple areas of the human brain at once on a subconscious level,” the organization writes. “Because of this, rhythm can be used to help build new connections in the brain (called neuropathways), thus improving a client’s brain function.”
Adults at any stage of the disease are welcome to attend the free virtual program, which will be presented over Zoom. Prior musical experience is a plus but not required.
Instructions to join the webinar will be provided to participants after the completion of the registration form.