KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The power of music is on full display as people who live with Parkinson’s disease come together in Knoxville.
Twice a month in Farragut, people living with Parkinson’s and their caretakers gather to blend their voices for the Therapeutic Singing Program.
Cecilia Wright is a board-certified music therapist who uses the art of music to strengthen those living with Parkinson’s.
“So, we work on articulation and breath support and all of those things that can help with the quality of speech can also improve swallowing. So, those are some of the more functional goals that we’re targeting,” Wright said.
Parkinson’s also breaks down motor skills. Neurologist, Dr. Christopher Tolleson supports the benefits of this type of therapy.
“It’s a lifetime disease. It’s not like cancer or someone dies immediately from Parkinson’s disease. It’s a slow-moving illness. So, patients struggle with their symptoms for a long time, but there’s, there’s lots of therapies we have now to kind of combat that and make their journey easier. So, we really push exercise, things like music therapy,” Tolleson said.
The group is working to fight this disease together and giving a sense of community.
“It feels good to have this sense of community together because, you know, I think a lot of people living with chronic illnesses can face isolation. And so, coming together in a group and enjoying each other’s company and focusing on the things you can do, rather than limitations I think is really empowering,” Wright said.
The group sang, “We are the champions, my friend, and we will keep on fighting to the end.”
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While you cannot really beat Parkinson’s, they are showing that you can win those small battles one day at a time.
The Cole Center for Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders provides the Therapeutic Singing program, and it takes place on the second and fourth Friday at 10 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Farragut. They are looking to invite more people living with Parkinson’s and their caregivers to join them. It is free and open to the public.