I sing in a choir and I love it! I am always harping on about it. What I often find is that lots of people say they love to sing but think they can’t so they don’t. My response is always along the lines everyone can sing, and if you enjoy it, consider joining a choir – or going to a singing workshop. No pressure and no commitment – just an open mind and enjoy!
Anyway I digress. One of the great things about my choir is the wide range of songs that we sing. After 10+ years, it’s a long list of songs – but just to give you an idea of the diversity – songs that we have sung include: I will survive, It’s too darn hot, Rolling in the deep, Paint it black, Time after time, Moondance. We even did Led Zepplin’s Kashmir one term – now that’s not a song you expect to sing acapella in five part harmony! This term’s songs are equally diverse ranging from ‘I shot the sheriff’ to ‘Wild thing’ and ‘Manic Monday’.
Parkinson’s is also very diverse in terms of the symptoms. Everyone with Parkinson’s has their own individual symptoms and contrary to common belief, not everyone who has Parkinson’s has a tremor and it doesn’t just affect older people. I have Parkinson’s and I was diagnosed three years ago when I was 36.
I’ve met many other people with Parkinson’s through Start Living Today PD – a Facebook support group for people living with Parkinson’s – which I now help to run. We are a very diverse group of people – of different ages, nationalities, and we have different symptoms. As you would expect with a group of over 600 members, we all have completely different personalities and different experiences of living with Parkinson’s – including those who care for loved ones with Parkinson’s. But what we do have in common is that we are all living with Parkinson’s and we want to be ‘positive, motivated, happy’ so that we can ‘live well with Parkinson’s’.
I am determined to live my life and not to let Parkinson’s stop me from doing the things I enjoy including singing in my choir. We sing some great songs with amazing (and sometimes complicated) arrangements. In order to make these work, we have to listen carefully to each other and stay in tune with each other. Similarly, to live well with Parkinson’s, we have to learn to listen to and be in tune with our bodies. In addition, one of the reasons I think SLTPD (Start Living Today PD) works so well is that we really listen to each other which allows us to support and encourage each other.
One final note, I couldn’t write a blog about singing without thanking Gitika – whose choirs I am fortunate to have sung with for several years. Thank you so much Gitika Partington for sharing your talent, enthusiasm and passion for singing with me (and many others) over the years. And thank you also for all your support and encouragement as I joined the world of blogging recently.