Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Music a 'mega-vitamin' for the brain

When Nina Temple was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000, then aged 44, she quickly became depressed, barely venturing out of her house as she struggled to come to terms with living with the chronic condition.

"I was thinking of all the things which I wished I'd done with my life and I wouldn't be able to do. And then I started thinking about all the things that I still actually could do and singing was one of those," Temple told CNN.

Along with a fellow Parkinson's sufferer, Temple decided, on a whim, to form a choir. The pair placed notices in doctor's surgeries inviting others to join them and advertised for a singing teacher.

By 2003, with the help of funding from the Parkinson's Disease Society, the resulting ensemble "Sing For Joy" was up and running, rehearsing weekly and soon graduating to public performances.

The group now consists of around two dozen singers, including sufferers of Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, others recovering from conditions including stroke or cancer, plus their carers, family and friends. Led by acclaimed jazz performer Carol Grimes, the group's genre-defying repertoire ranges from Cole Porter classics to ethnic punk. Watch Sing for Joy perform

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