Canterbury Christ Church University

Singing lessons to help older people with breathing problems

According to the British Lung Foundation, 1.2 million people are living with diagnosed  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)  in the UK, making it the second most common lung disease in the country after asthma.

For more than a decade the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University has been researching the benefits of singing and the arts for people with breathing difficulties. Their project, Lambeth and Southwark Singing for Better Breathing, showed that regular singing helped to improve the participants’ social and psychological well-being and helped to modify breathing patterns and reduce breathlessness. Participants said they had fewer bad days and accounts from interviews were consistently highly positive.

 “Even just catching a bus felt as if my heart was popping and I would faint. Now I know how to breathe through it. It has been a tremendous help.”
Laura, a participant in the project

Further reading