At our 2018 Songfest at Cecil Sharp House, our longstanding member Michael gave a moving speech about his participation in Sing for Joy. Here’s what he said:
What the hell am I doing here?
Well, I suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. I do have a slight tremor – most, but by no means all sufferers do. Unfortunately, speech defects are almost equally common. So, I speak too quickly, slurring my words. So I’m not understood. And too quietly, so I’m not even heard. Try talking with your head In a paper bag. That’s how it feels and sounds.
Now, an angel (I don’t remember which one) suggested singing was a good exercise for sufferers from Parkinson’s. So, that’s why I’m here. I’m learning to speak slowly. Clearly. And loudly. And I have found my voice, too. I know I’m being pushed by Malmfrid but I am delighted with the results.
The sound of the choir is awesome. My God, where did that sound come from? Who me? Even my mother, who loved me deeply, thought I couldn’t sing. Can I sing in such-and-such key? I can sing in any key. And usually do. But, as Steve Jobs used to say before introducing the world to some insanely great life-changing gadget (think iPod, iPad, iPhone): Just one more thing!
Many, many Parkinson sufferers also suffer from depression. I might look and sound OK but there’s a real nasty snake-pit somewhere inside me, however much the sun is shining outside. Sing for Joy is a real help; a real tonic. So, much, much more important. I reckon Sing for Joy is the best support group around! I arrive on Tuesday evening tense, tired and down. I leave on Cloud 9 and I really, really don’t know why. And I don’t think I’m the only one to get this buzz. One small clue to what’s going on. Parkinson’s leaves my joints stiff, so putting on my overcoat is a challenge. Without fail, someone asks: Can I help? Without fail!
It’s great, I love SfJ and I cannot recommend it too highly, whether Parkinson’s sufferer or not. Join now and avoid the rush.