Singing can be the best medicine.
Previously we’ve told you about studies that prove singing can be better for you than Yoga. The circular breathing that you naturally do with singing. Psychiatrists have long talked about singing releasing endorphins and serotonin improving mood, alleviating depression, reducing stress all of which take a physical toll on the body. Studies of Alzheimer’s have shown that singing reaches the long term memory. Do you remember the story last Christmas of the man who had spoken all year other than to make sounds indicating yes or no? He sang every word of Hark the Herald. Well now both Royal Devon and Exeter (RD&E) and Derriford Hospitals have approached Sam with a view to starting choirs for staff and patients.
Derriford are hoping that staff there will benefit from some light relief once a week. RD&E has been organised by a fourth year medical student and will be for Oncology and Haematology patients.
Sam, as you know, is practically a poster girl for the benefits of singing. She believes everyone can sing and everyone can benefit from singing. Her own personal experiences prove that. It’s got her through some really tough times. Imagine how excited she is about these potential projects.
“I was contacted first by RD&E. An enthusiastic med student wants to help patients with serious long term illnesses. She’s read up on the psychological effect singing has. Derriford want a better work life balance for their staff. It is extremely stressful and emotional at times working in a hospital, and the hours can be very long. The outline plan would be to slot it in mid-afternoon when both day and evening shifts are on site. The more we reach the better.
I have approached Devon County Council in the past via some staff who sing in one of my choirs. I suggested a breakfast choir with the idea that it would give staff a good shot of adrenalin and endorphins before they face the day and be, in my opinion, much more fun than the gym. Apparently the councillors couldn’t allow one of their many meeting rooms to be booked regularly so it never came off. I am so glad that other employers will go that extra mile for their staff and that a young Doctor in the middle of her training wants to think outside the box.
It’s very exciting and I am determined to make both the highlight of the week for those involved. Ive worked with Gareth (Malone) as you know and he has been doing this kind of thing but he doesn’t get the chance to stay and keep the momentum going. And anyway, as I told him when I met him, I was doing it way before him. He just publicised it.’ She’s such a cheeky madam!
Neither projects are confirmed at present but with all parties keen to get this off the ground and Sam’s dogged determination to spread the joy of singing across the universe the La La gang cant see it being allowed to fail.
Watch this space for updates on the La La Medical Choir’s progress.