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Patients suffering long-term effects of Covid to benefit from Singing for Health sessions

singing for health

Girl singing

An innovative pilot to help Covid patients in their recovery launches this week as we join forces with the Havering Music School to hold Singing for Health sessions.

These sessions, which begin on Thursday 4 March, are for patients of our Long Covid clinic, launched to support those living with on-going issues caused by Covid-19.

Dr Adam Ainley, respiratory consultant at our Trust who runs the clinic, said: “It’s an evolving clinic and we’re looking at other ways to support our patients.

“The benefits of singing for our health and wellbeing are already well-known and the English National Opera set up a programme to benefit people recovering from Covid. So when we were approached by the Havering Music School to run a pilot, we were really keen to be able to offer this to our patients. Several have signed up for the first session and are really keen.”  

The sessions, facilitated by singing teachers Ileana DiCamillo and Diana Torti, will be held virtually and will focus on breathing exercises, before trying some gentle singing. To ensure everyone is comfortable, participants can chose whether to have their cameras on or not, and everyone is asked to go on mute as they move through the breathing exercises – so no one needs to feel shy about their singing voice.

Karen Tweddle, Principle of the music school, which is part of Havering Council, said: “We’ve been running Singing for Health Sessions for our staff since the first lockdown, singing feel-good songs to lift everyone’s spirits. It’s wonderful to be able to help the NHS and there’s a real buzz ahead of our first session.

“Our lungs are like any muscle and benefit from exercise and being used in the right way. Both my children have Asthma and I know from their experience of playing instruments the positive difference it makes to their breathing.  It’s really nice when we’re holding a session and can all see each other, practising the exercises and singing – when you feel part of a group you don’t feel embarrassed.”

The trial, funded by the Friends of Havering Music School, will run for the next six weeks.   

Read more about our Long Covid clinic.          

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