Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. It is chronic and degenerative. The progressive deterioration of motor function is due to loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.
Decreased voice volume and voice with a monotone quality are common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This clinically beneficial program provides vocal and movement exercises and generates new learning and comfortable challenges in a shared supportive environment. Voice, rhythm, movement, breathing, posture, facial expression and memory are improved when we sing.
Participation in the program makes people feel good. It helps keep members active and engaged, sharing an enjoyable activity and resulting in new-found energy. Participation in the choir community develops connections and provides support to people with Parkinson’s disease and their spouses and caregivers.
Each individual who participates in Tremble Clefs has a story to tell. Members come from different places, different backgrounds, different professions. This is an exclusive choir in only one respect: it is for people with Parkinson’s disease, their family members and caregivers.
Karen Hesley, credited with founding Tremble Clefs, writes:
Each group has its own history of development, design, music direction, funding and other resources. There has been remarkable, organic growth and change. Each person participating in Tremble Clefs has an impact. Each director brings a unique perspective to the task. While the dynamics of each group differ, all are guided by similar goals and benefits: (a) maintain and enhance vocal skills, directly tied to improving posture and breathing, (b) move to music, which coordinates well with singing, (c) meet new friends – many people join for the voice therapy and stay for the friendship, (d) sing and perform – there is power in public performance, and (e) have fun. I think we would all agree that if it weren’t fun, nobody would come.”
Karen Hesley, President, Tremble Clefs San Diego, www.trembleclefs.com/history