My life as a degenerate

June 2013

Music: Good for the brain as well as the soul

I had noticed back in 2012 that music helped me to move better. I always have a song running in my head, and can tune into it to do rhythmic things such as walk, dance and aerobic exercises.

After my diagnosis, I read that listening to music is beneficial for the brain. The Mozart Effect is one example, and for a while I spent my driving time listening to classical music borrowed from the local library.

Playing an instrument is also therapeutic, and will make new neural pathways as well as improve fine motor skills. I looked for access to a piano in my neighborhood, but as yet have not found one which I can use. I did dig out my other smaller instruments though, such as recorder and harmonicas.

Singing works too, and it has the added benefit of being voice therapy. I now have a habit of singing around the house and singing loudly in the shower and in the car. My dilemma in the car is "To sing or to listen to music, what should it be?"

There is plenty of information about this topic on the internet and in books, so the links below are just a representative sample. I have chosen them because they have helped me personally or include good explanations of the benefits of music with PwP.

Music therapy

How to Use Music Therapy to Benefit Individuals With Parkinson's Disease

Music Therapy and Parkinson's Disease Fact Sheet

Listening to music

The Listening Program - A music listening therapy, that provides engaging brain stimulation to improve performance in school, work and life. A forum member uses this program for half an hour each day.

Playing musical instruments

Parkinsonís and Piano, revisiting a wonderful pastime slowly and deliberately. - This blog article gave me hope that I can play the piano again, but first I need to practice, slowly and deliberately!

Piano Exercises: Develop Your Technique - This webpage gives you piano exercises to develop basic fingering ability and technique. The exercises are downloadable and printable. A good place to start if you are rusty after years away from the piano or just wish to improve your fine motor skills.

Harmonicas for Health - If you don't have room for a piano, you will be able to fit at least one harmonica into your house. I have two! Now is the time to start practicing, and this workshop shows you how to do it properly so that you can improve your breathing function. Your dog will like it no matter how it sounds to you!

Singing

Singing allows people with Parkinsonís disease to exercise their vocal cords - Phillis Richman's story of how signing up for a singing group helped her with voice therapy and much more.

 

May 2013: Motor and non-motor symptoms        My life as a degenerate        Jun 2013: Turning my diagnosis around