This term I have been volunteering at Lewisham hospital in partnership with Trinity Laban in a singing group aimed at improving Lung Health. Once a week, a group of adults with different lung problems come along to Lewisham Hospital for an hour of singing and breathing exercises designed to help improve their conditions.
Whilst predominantly being the ‘Tea and Coffee lady’, I got to take part and observe multiple sessions which included beatboxing, singing through straws, and a little bit of dancing here and there! It was interesting for me to see how the participants interacted with the exercises given to them and took on board the reasoning behind the sometimes strange activities they were being made to do.
It was also very meaningful to see how much these sessions were enjoyed by the participants. Whilst they had to fill out surveys to measure how their lung disease was effecting them every week and a lot of the sessions revolved around strengthening their lungs, for the most part, they really enjoyed the social aspect and actual singing. This reminded me why I enjoy helping out with community music so much; because the participants really do look forward to it and get so much out of it.
More information on Singing for Lung Health groups and their benefits can be found on the British Lung Foundation website.