Breathing Space is Play On's singing for health and wellbeing project
Participating in singing gets more oxygen to the brain and releases an abundance of feel good hormones.
Singing together in a supportive group really can help you:
- improve your breath control
- develop mindfulness skills
- reduce feelings of social isolation
- lower your heart rate
- improve cognitive function (such as reducing brain fog)
- build self esteem
- nurture your creativity and playfulness
Two groups currently take place every Wednesday at
Mayfair Community Centre, Church Stretton.
Breathing Space at Mayfair comprises two groups:
1, A dementia friendly group and is designed with people with care needs and their carers in mind, as well as others in the earlier stages of illness and 2, a group for people wanting some support with a range of health and wellbeing issues. These include stress relief, the effects of Long Covid, loneliness, breathing difficulties and chronic pain.
1.30 - 2.30pm Dementia Friendly Group
If you are person with care needs (not limited to dementia) you are very welcome to join us.
Please note, you need to bring a carer with you each week but they are eligible
for a free place because they are coming along to support you.
If you are at an earlier stage in your journey and don't require care
but feel this might be a good group for you to join, please get do in touch!
3 - 4.15pm Wellbeing Group
This second group works at a more highly focussed level, with lots of unaccompanied singing
and is designed for people with no additional care needs.
5 frequently asked questions:
1 Am I going to be judged on the quality of my voice?
Absolutely not! Everyone is welcome, at every level of experience including people who believe they cannot sing. Gaining positive benefits from singing together is not dependent on pre-existing vocal skill levels but is a natural function of this vital form of human self expression. What is most important is a willingness to have a go and to be sensitive to others in the group who may also lack confidence.
2 Do I need to be able to read music?
No. Songs and activities will be taught by ear so we can concentrate fully in the moment - this helps people to engage more deeply and mindfully during the activity. Alongside a scattering of well known songs, much of the accessible repertoire is drawn from simple songs in harmony from around the globe. NB For anyone who has real difficulty learning by ear I can sometimes be persuaded to provide the words and dots!
3 How does this differ from singing in a choir or singalong group?
This sort of group singing is focussed around sharing creative experiences, deepening healthy breathing and truly being in the moment. There is an emphasis on learning songs and activities new to the group - so everyone approaches the experience on the same level. There is no expectation or pressure for Breathing Space groups to sing to an audience, although members are also always welcome to check out the Natural Voice choir I facilitate at Mayfair in Church Stretton on Thursday evenings, Harmony in the Hills, which does work towards occasional performances.
4 How did you get into this line of work?
I have a chronic health condition myself (M.E.) and originally, alongside my other creative work projects, this drew me into exploring and championing the positive effects of singing on health and wellbeing. My own history also informs my approaches to nurturing voices and to pacing activities: I place a high value on responding and tailoring the singing to participants’ confidence and individual energy levels.
5 Can it really make a difference?
Yes, there is a wealth of peer reviewed research which says it can.
You can access documents and case studies here: https://www.singingforhealthnetwork.co.uk
You can come along to your initial session for a special trial fee of £5.00 (if you come as a carer to the 1.30 group there is no charge - see above).
Subsequent sessions will be £10.00 as a drop in rate, or you can pay for a 5 week run of sessions starting from week 1 of the term at a discounted rate of £37.50.
Spaces are limited, so advance booking is essential please. If you would like to join but you are experiencing financial hardship, do please contact me to discuss options.