Health and Music

Lockdown singing for health videos

Lyric sheets for video sessions

Other ‘join in’ singing for health resources


Special songs:

Seaside Song

Side by Side

Special Songs

Side by Side

This song was written together by members of the Edinburgh Parkinson’s branch in 2018 for the World Parkinson’s Congress songwriting competition (Japan, 2019). It shares diverse experiences of people living with Parkinson’s alongside the shared experience of support through connecting with others through singing and other recreational groups.

For the Wold Parkinson’s Congress in Barcelona in 2023, We are making a video to illustrate the song, and anyone is welcome to add their voice or send pictures that represent their Parkinson’s story. You are welcome to submit any photograph or short piece of film that for you illustrates something of the song and/or your experience of Parkinson’s. You are also welcome to submit a video of yourself singing or playing along with the song. You will find below all the resources you need to do this, as well as a short piece of writing describing the writing of the song.

Lyrics; Melody; Full Score; A short essay about the writing of the song

Here is a ‘learn and sing along’ video where you can learn both parts of the song. If you would like to film yourself singing along with the song, that would be great. You can do this with a smartphone, tablet or computer, you just need to make sure you listen to the guide track with headphones in so that we only hear your voice on the recording. If you need any help with how to record yourself, just drop me an email at and I’ll see what I can do to help.

Learn and singalong video:

Singalong videos for recording yourself singing along with:

Photos and videos can be sent to Penny at any time from now until March 31st, 2022.

Seaside Song

This song was knitted together from seaside memories shared by people living in care homes during the pandemic, most of whom are living with dementia.

Singing for Health Video sessions

March 2020: Dear friends, as all singing groups in the UK will be on pause just now, I am recording short singing sessions with voice exercises for my health-specific groups. Whilst they’re aimed at my groups specifically, these videos are freely available for anyone to watch, so if you know someone who might benefit from watching them and joining in, please do share. I will put a new session up for both groups every tuesday. Any lyric sheets can be found below.

You can find the Let’s Sing (dementia focused) playlist on youtube here.

You can find the Singing4Fun (Parkinsons focused) playlist on youtube here.

Here are two sample videos from the last year and a half (all 85 of these videos are available on the links above):

Lyric Sheets

Download the Singing4Fun Christmas Songsheet PDF by clicking here.

COPYRIGHT NOTE: I have put up lyric sheets to various songs here to make it easier for any singers living with chronic health conditions to participate in these virtual singing sessions. If you hold copyright to any of these lyrics and would like me to remove them for any reason, please let me know. I am making them available in good faith and sincerely hope no-one will object to their use to keep people musically connected during this time.

Lyric Sheets for longer songs in the earlier videos below(later videos have lyrics posted on the screen):

Other Singing and Breathing resources (join in!)

A vibrant new resource of songs to sing at home for people living with dementia, curated by Luminate Scotland, is available here.

There is a set of Singing for Breathing exercises and songs that has been made available by the Sydney DeHaan Research Centre here.


There is a growing body of research supporting what community musicians have long known – that community music making, and particularly singing, supports health and wellbeing. Singing is good for all of us, and can be particularly beneficial in supporting people living with long term mental and physical health needs to live as well as possible. I currently work regularly with groups of people living with dementia and Parkinson’s, and have worked with participative singing in a psychiatric hospital for many years. Here are a few useful links for anyone wanting to learn more about music and health. Though of course the best way to learn about music and health is to go make some music with people and see how you feel!

Sing Yourself Better – the health benefits of singing in a choir.

The Sydney DeHaan Research Centre at Canterbury University have produced some helpful guides to support people setting up health related singing groups.

Information about the Singing for Lung Health network can be found here.

The British Voice Association has a series of leaflets about general voice care and a variety of voice health issues here with more in depth voice care articles here.

Extensive resources on arts and health can be found at the Repository for Arts and Health Research.

%d bloggers like this: