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    Canterbury Cantata Trust

    Sing to Beat Parkinson's

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    Canterbury Cantata Trust

    Sing to Beat Parkinson's

Welcome to Sing to Beat Parkinson's

Sing to Beat Parkinson’s (STBP), a network of singing groups for people with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions, was launched in January 2018 by Canterbury Cantata Trust. STBP was founded by our Artistic Director, Professor Grenville Hancox, MBE, who brings many years of experience in both practice and research in the field of music and health; and by our President, Roger Clayton, a former colleague of Grenville’s. The story behind the journey towards STBP can be found here.

STBP has a growing number of groups across the UK and the model has been adopted internationally. We have developed a training programme in association with Snape Maltings at Aldeburgh, and Morley College in London, and in November 2018, we will be running our first training event in the North of England, at the University of Derby. STBP has adopted a ‘caring through singing’ ethos, and models a high energy approach to facilitation with its team of skilled practitioners.

STBP groups have also taken part in an exciting piece of international research, more details of which can be found on our Research page.

What People Say About Us

  • An Enormous Triumph

    My Mum was diagnosed with Parkinson's eight years ago and suffers from acute anxiety, especially in public situations. To say the singing group was a triumph would be an ENORMOUS understatement. It was the first time she has felt comfortable enough to stay for an entire group event in a very long time. She was literally buzzing on the way home, as was I.

  • A Huge Boost

    Skylarks has made a lot of difference to my mental health; it has not been a good day today, with a lot of shaking, but I have cheered up enormously at the thought of singing with Skylarks. My husband says I sometimes get hyper after a singing session.

  • So Welcoming!

    I’ve found it great to be singing the songs to myself and on a high. Singing strengthens my voice as well, so the more I sing the better. I am so glad that I have found this group. I came here on my own and was welcomed at once.

  • Engaging and Fun

    It was quite incredible that John came out of hospital on the same day, could hardly move at the outset but was totally engaged in the singing, insisted on exercising with his wheel chair in the break and led the hand jiving in Five Foot Two!


    Our Latest News

    Keep up to date with all of the latest news from Canterbury Cantata Trust by tuning into our blog. Keep an eye out for information about upcoming training events and new information about our groups.

    Demystifying Dementia

    Demystifying dementia - reflections on BBC's Our Dementia Choir by Professor Grenville Hancox, MBE 

    It's a great help to a cause when a celebrity chips in and validates, supports, authenticates the work that countless other practitioners are engaged with on a weekly basis. It's great that the programme direction draws attention to the power of music, especially singing , identifies cutting edge research which confirms that we are 'hard wired ' to sing and promulgates the possibility of singing in a group as an intervention, a respite, a liberation from the trauma of dementia and other neurological disorder.

    However  I felt  uncomfortable with the title and with some of the content. Choirs can be problematic! They can be tainted by selection, and feel or appear. exclusive. This surely can't apply to a choir for people with Dementia....? well yes. The  second episode included auditions for solos for The Performance and subsequent rejection for some. Very uncomfortable and a long way from the myriad of organisations who on a weekly basis offer singing in a group as an intervention, a respite, a liberation from the conditions that blight their members lives. 

    A great need was identified by the programme, its leading personality and its direction highlighted the emotional engagement between us all. It confirmed that singing groups meeting without performance in mind but with hope in sight need to be prescribed...singing on prescription. Not concerned with televisual impact, just for life changing  experiences. Some choirs choose to audition and select....singing groups for People with dementia have No need.

    Organisations that offer such opportunities for people with conditions such as Dementia, Parkinson's, COPD can be found in The Sing to Beat network at www.singtobeat.co.uk......working for Singing on Prescription


    Lecture on Parkinson's

    Lecture on Parkinson's

    There will be a joint lecture on Parkinson's by the School of Sport & Exercise Sciences of the University of Kent and researchers from the Neurodegeneration Imaging Group at Kings College London. For full details and booking visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/parkinsons-research-lecture-tickets-59096381869?ref=eios


    When Grenville met Amelia

    When Grenville met Amelia

    Our founder and artistic director, Professor Grenville Hancox, writes:


    I have written this with Amelia’s agreement as a response to the very many enquiries and stories she is receiving from across the world .


    Thanks so much for contacting me after viewing Grenville’s ‘Yesterday’ video made when I was in hospital. My story is a long one centred around a desire to realise a world of love and caring for others, much of which was missing from my childhood. 


    Music, especially singing and playing the piano, offered me an escape route which was magnified when I was offered a place to study music at Canterbury Christ Church University. It was here that I met Professor Grenville Hancox, who encouraged me to try and rid some of the demons that had plagued my life of eighteen years by immersing myself in musical activities based on 'Caring through Singing'.


    Singing with other  students, and then with Grenville's community groups offered me some respite from my mental and physical torment further enhanced by the opportunity to sing and work alongside Canterbury Skylarks, the first singing group he established for people with Parkinson's. 


    Over the past six years I have gained mental strength from working with people whom I see as needing far more care and attention than I do and by singing and making music together able to share in an understanding which defines the very best of human conditions . The ability to love each other without condition encapsulated in the strap line of the charity established by Grenville, (Canterbury Cantata Trust) , 'Caring through Singing'.


    As you will have seen from the video Grenville made when he came to visit me in hospital, this is exactly what happened! My ability to talk had disappeared through a hemiplegic migraine, and whilst the wonderful medics tried to find the correct medicine to ameliorate the neurological imbalance, it was the simple and wonderful act of singing together that allowed my voice to be heard. 

    • And now I want as many people as possible to consider the place of singing as an intervention for  a whole host of conditions that blight our world. Let us have Singing on Prescription, Sing to Beat Parkinson's, Dementia, Cancer, COPD . Sing to Beat!
    • You can find out more by visiting www.singtobeat.co.uk or emailing Sing to Beat Programme Director Matt Shipton - email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • The video of Grenville and Amelia can be viewed on our youtube channel at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgfEGuXnt_E&t=2s

    Canterbury Cantata Trust

    Canterbury Cantata Trust Registered in England and Wales
    Company No. 8293466 (Limited by Guarantee)
    Registered Charity No. 1163197.

    Registered Office:
    April Cottage, Cherville Lane,
    Bramling, Canterbury,
    Kent. CT3 1LZ