Quotes from Sing for Health Participants
Thank you so much. Your breathing exercises are incredible. I live alone so have not spoken at 10am so takes a lot of effort.’ (Elizabeth)
I just wanted you to know how useful the breathing exercises that you teach us at Singing For Health have proved to be. I have C.O.P.D and the breathing and singing at S.F.H have helped me to manage this.
I recently caught Covid, and because of my C.O.P.D. I had a rough time. On one particular day I had so much difficulty breathing that I considered calling an Ambulance. Knowing how long that an Ambulance was likely to take and the thought of waiting for hours outside the hospital and the possibility of hours on a trolley in a corridor,I decided that I would rather die at home. Instead I concentrated on the breathing exercises learnt at S.F.H. These vastly improved my breathing and lessened my coughing spasms. This whole body breathing made me relax and stop panicking. ( and saved the struggling N.H.S.time and money). I am now well on the way to recovery. SO THANKYOU. Alison
Singing for health ......... why wouldn’t you!? I popped along to one of Paula’s SfH sessions as I was intrigued and in need of a serious ‘pick-me-up’. I thoroughly enjoyed my first session and decided to go back for more. I do not have any diagnosed lung or mental health conditions but I have had Cancer and subsequent multiple surgeries and treatment which has taken a huge toll on my mental and physical health. During a session my worries and stresses melt away and I leave feeling much brighter and refreshed. The breathing techniques and posture exercises really help to oxygenate the body and help strengthen the lungs. Something I notice whilst singing is that my fingers tingle and my usually cold hands become very warm – I put that down to the increased oxygen flow. The sessions are uplifting, enjoyable, friendly and all-inclusive – connecting with others whilst singing as a group promotes happiness! The only downside to the sessions are that I now have multiple ear worms, haha. Debbie X
I came along to Sing for Health as I have had health issues for many years. I have had to change my life as I used to be so very active. This has led to my suffering with anxiety and depression too. (...) During Sing for Health sessions, the relaxation and deep breathing exercises before we start to sing help me tremendously. Learning to deep breathe properly is very important to me as I have had pneumonia and chest problems over the last couple of years. While I’m singing I feel my mood lifting and it makes me feel so much better. In fact, I think it has saved my life in so many ways! I have problems with my memory and I’m finding that music seems to help me remember (...) this did come as a big surprise to me!!! I sing in the house and often do the deep breathing exercises between sessions, especially when I’m feeling down or unwell. It also helps me go to sleep at night. It is also nice to see the other people enjoying the singing with you and the sound that we all make. I can’t recommend Sing for Health enough to anyone who has health issues! I have even been able to reduce my medication recently which I think is as a result of Sing for Health! Thank you so, so much Paula! Annette X
‘We feel that we would like to email you to say how much we are enjoying the sing for health sessions on Monday morning. Following a traumatic year health wise I am unable to do many things (…) the breathing techniques and general feeling of wellbeing my wife and I get from these sessions are a great help to my recovery. The online sessions have been something to look forward to during such a long period of isolation.’
I have chronic asthma and over winter breathing difficulties. Since joining SfH I have been able to significantly reduce my Ventolin use, I have used no regular therapeutic asthma sprays or antibiotic medication for chest infections. I am surprised that I no longer use Vocalzones either! It had been my custom to use large quantities of throat lozenges for relief of dry sore throat and subsequent breathing worries. Since joining SfH in 2020 I have used none. I. use the breathing techniques when out walking in my local countryside, and in my choir sessions now they have restarted. Ian
I joined "Sing for Health" because I have C.O.P.D. Since I started SfH my cough has become much better and easier to control. Singing raises my spirit and makes me feel good. I always leave the sessions feeling happy. I have made many new friends and gained confidence. I find the exercises and breathing techniques that we learn are also useful in everyday life, and I practise them at times other than when singing. Correct breathing helps to stop a coughing fit , and the exercises relieve stress and tension. Our sessions are always fun and varied. Paula makes every session unique and I really appreciate all her hard work. Alison B
I have COPD & Nina at. Abbotswood suggested coming along. I also have asthma & I also love singing. The sessions help me to feel happier & more relaxed – I feel more positive & motivated. I sing the songs between sessions. Pauline
I looked for singing for health because I was told about it in Norfolk, by my respiratory consultant. I went to the class there that met once a month, what a joy to find it being held weekly here. I have not had a single chest infection since getting involved. I feel a real lifting of mood. I live alone and being locked down was very isolating. I was new to the area and had no support network. I do find myself paying attention to my breathing and I sing when I walk my dog and I am confident no one can hear me. I do breathing exercises to help me get off to sleep. My sleep apnea wakes me and I used lie awake for hours, now I focus on my breathing. Paula is such a tonic. She is incredibly cheerful, encouraging and upbeat always. She makes my week. I feel uplifted and generally happier and healthier for my contact with her.. Elizabeth Jordan
I was recommended to you by Lucy Bird the Social Prescriber at Riverside Practice to help with my mental health (depression and anxiety) The singing has improved my mood considerably. I also find that I feel less anxious and breathing is easier. I have been able to smile again. I sometimes surprise myself by singing the songs out loud from memory. I haven’t sung throughout the pandemic - I sometimes put the music on which Paula forwarded and sing along. Sing for Health gives me something to look forward to and stops me focusing on negative thoughts. Some nights I'm able to get back to sleep by going through my songs in my head. I love it and I'm so grateful to Paula and the funders of the service.. Thank you from the bottom of heart. AC
I was feeling rather low and dealing with several health problems both for myself and my husband (...) I had previously enjoyed singing but given up after operations on my nose and throat meant my voice was far from reliable. I thoroughly enjoyed it till we were all shut down. The relaxing breathing exercises were good for me and I enjoyed the company and singing with others again, even though I thought I wouldn’t remember words or tunes. The simple songs and harmonies gave me an uplifting feeling and a more positive attitude
During the zoom meetings in lockdown the connection was invaluable and the positivity to go and ‘get on’ with things after a session meant I really felt like gardening etc. Jobs which often I didn’t feel like doing. Since resuming face to face I have made some new friends, learnt some lovely new songs and harmonies and look forward to Monday evenings.
I felt that the uplifting benefits of singing are massive. I do find myself singing at home again now and using the tummy breathing routine quite regularly although I’m not sure I have got it off to a default mode yet! But I am getting there. I am generally more positive and can lift my spirit by singing
So.... after my experience I decided that he too should focus on singing again. Consequently he is now having lessons with Paula, learning the right way to control his breathing, producing good sounds and enjoyingsinging. He is so enjoying it and it’s lovely to see him looking forward to the lessons. His Christmas present is going to be some more lessons!
Paula is a great inspiration, a fount of knowledge and such a lovely person to know. She puts everyone at ease and teaches in such a relaxed way that everyone thoroughly enjoys the sessions, feel happier on leaving and that they have achieved. Her skills in explaining breathing, note production and helping us to remember words are brilliant. I do hope she can get more funding to be able to help more people be happier, able to deal with life more easily and make friends through singing. Amen! Sue🙂😁🤗x
‘Before the first session of Sing for Health I contacted Paula to let her know that I wouldn’t be attending due to a flare up of the pain and accompanying anxiety I suffer from. I received a kind and encouraging response suggesting I give it a go, reassuring me that my concerns could be overcome but importantly there was no pressure to attend or stay. Having completed two sessions now I’m really enjoying discovering that I have a voice to express myself with. I’ve learnt how to breathe, let go, communicate with some new friends in a different way, smile and enjoy being immersed in a new project. I get a feeling of wellbeing that I haven’t experienced for many years and feel safe and supported… and we’ve only just begun!’ (Nigel and Claire)
From early childhood I have been told that I cannot sing and so have always tried to “sing” as quietly as possible in church or any other public gathering where people are singing around me. I often mime rather than make, what I learnt to consider is, an awful noise. However, I always longed to sing in a choir as I feel singing is uplifting. After losing my Father earlier in the year and, having already lost my Mother, I became very low mentally. (...) SfH has given me the most wonderful opportunity to sing for the first time in my life with a group of people and I find it a most uplifting experience. My mood has improved significantly. (...). As a long term asthmatic it has also enabled me to focus more on my breathing and improve the quality of my breath. I sometimes find myself crying when I sing, enabling me to let go of long held tension. I use the breathing techniques every day, in lots of everyday situations. I also now sing with my grandchildren.
I have Parkinson’s & had to leave Kingham Choral Society as I can no longer hold the music & no longer sing my alto... vocal chords totally wrecked. Liz Jordan recommended you & it really helps with breathing, wellbeing etc. SfH definitely helps me to be optimistic and gives me something to look forward to. I find myself singing many of the songs during the week. Thank you very much for your infectious smile, swing & bounce.... Keep up the good work. Lovely with your asides about buzzards, herons & Kevin the collie. Love, Annabelle
Singing it gives me a real buzz and I feel so much better for it. Mark
I have seen an improvement in my breathing and singing. I don’t have as many sinus problem as before. My singing has improved because my breathing techniques have improved. My singing generally has become more confident. The meditation at the beginning of the session is calming - I use the breathing and meditation techniques and I sometimes sing the songs to my grandchildren! Communal singing is a joy, especially at this time. Paula’s enthusiasm for all she does and her excitement at our enjoyment is heart- warming. Jan
With SfH I feel more relaxed and able to enjoy our sessions, the relaxation time has greatly increased my awareness of how tense I can be and given me skills to practice at the times when I feel anxious and panicky. I've also gained a greater awareness of the importance of my posture and breathing especially as we become less mobile. While still going through the grieving process and recovering from Covid restrictions the vocal exercises along with singing has brought much joy and given me a feeling of wellbeing, I've gained confidence, feel happier and look forward to each session where I can meet and join other people who are gaining the benefits of singing together in a welcoming, safe and caring environment. I love singing with SfH outside which is so uplifting and often burst into song when out walking, Thank you for your time, understanding, creativity and encouragement and most of all for your perseverance in getting SfH off the ground. Carolyn x
An existing member suggested it to me as she said it 'set her up' for the week. I'd always thought that singing on Zoom would be dreadful, but it was excellent . I had really missed the opportunities that I used to enjoy for live singing so was really glad when this was possible. I wanted to be able to sing informally with other people again just for the pleasure of it. I find that it makes a big difference to the problems that i have with mental health. It gives me self-confidence and if it is an active session my heart enjoys the improved circulation.
(...) Getting to know new people/reconnecting with old acquaintances. Being in company with easy conversation. Everyone is open, welcoming and accepts you for who you are. It 'feeds me', providing nutrients to the parts of me that nothing else does. Looking out to the fields with visits from sheep, robin and herons and buzzard accompaniments has made the sessions uniquely special. When I had acute sciatica the abdominal breathing and 'sow seeds of hope' sung on a loop to myself acted as a powerful enough concentration /distraction aid that I could move through the pain. I use the abdominal breathing for relaxation if i am in a stressful situation where I am not in control or need to distract myself through concentrating on the breathing from other things that are going on around me. I often find myself singing the songs or making up my own verses when I am out
on my bike. Having a leader who, as a result of training, experience and empathy is unusually well 'tuned into ' the different needs of the group make a big difference-it makes participants feel valued. I love the way that Paula is so accepting of us singing our own harmonies, altering words, singing random notes, even letting us jump up and down, sit, play the tambourine, bring your dog, etc. it must be really hard for a trained singing specialist to be so accepting and tolerant, but
it gives me the confidence to sing from my soul and that is a huge health benefit.
Offering sessions on both Zoom and live makes it really accessible to everyone.
This should be a national, if not international initiative-perhaps you should get a grant to develop it...! Carolyn
‘Once again, a great start to the week for me. Since joining Sing for Health I have become far more aware of my own breathing and find it makes a difference to any stressful situation to use the breathing techniques we have been introduced to. To do it all with a song…brilliant!’
After my husbands death I suffered badly from panic attacks and heart racing issues and was then diagnosed with PTSD. Singing for Health has helped me enormously to get over all of this. Not only the breathing but also the camaraderie between friends. I do the exercises on a regular basis away from the class. I would recommend it to anyone. Marie-Claire
‘Thank you so much for the session this morning! I find that your singing sessions help me to relax. It helps me with my breathing and allows me to try and forget about the awful pain I am in. It also helps me mentally, especially at a time like this during lockdown, to see and get together ‘virtually’ to sing and say hello with tall the other people participating online, I really do enjoy it! Thank you again, you do a wonderful service!’ (Annette)