Healthcare Arts Trust hosts musicality event in Arbroath

People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) hit all the right notes today (Friday) at a music event in Arbroath.

The Musicality for COPD programme is run by Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT), in association with NHS Tayside and Creative Scotland.

The group entertained an audience of family and friends during a performance of songs at St Andrews Church.

The programme focuses on the benefits of singing, combining the practical benefits of breathing exercises with vocal control, which are important for helping people living with COPD to self-manage their condition.

Musician and performer Alice Marra worked with the group during the eight-week programme and encouraged participants to develop their singing voices through a number of different songs and rhythm exercises.

Alice said: “Over the weeks I tried a selection of different songs with the group and they then decided what they wanted to work on.

“We had a focus on popular songs from our shared past but we also performed a brand new piece co-written by one of the group. The support that everyone gives to each other has helped them all build their confidence and the strength of their singing.”

Karine Neill, development officer with THAT, added: “It was clear from our previous programme experience and recent research that music and singing can be very beneficial for people with COPD.

“This musicality project has been supported by members of all three Angus pulmonary rehabilitation groups, as well as specialist COPD nurses and physiotherapists from NHS Tayside.

“This is a group of people who see music and singing as an important and very enjoyable way of exercising their breathing and many have incorporated their singing into part of the pulmonary rehab meetings.