STB Parkinson's Research

Welcome to Sing to Beat Parkinson's (STBP)

STBP operates and supports a network of singing groups for people with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions, including carers, family members, and volunteers. The programme’s origins are rooted in the work of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health (SDH centre), that had been conducting research since 2001 investigating the impact of group singing on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. CCT and SDH centre co-founder Prof. Grenville Hancox had facilitated a singing group (Canterbury Skylarks) for people with Parkinson’s since 2010 and bore witness to the positive impact that group singing had on participants. This also built on a growing body of evidence that there are significant benefits to participating in group singing for people with chronic health challenges.

Since 2018, more than three hundred practitioners have participated in our training programmes. STBP model a dynamic, high energy approach to facilitation:

  • Introductory training is open to anyone wanting to learn more about group singing for people with Parkinson’s, including the latest research and how this informs best practice, and the provision of a toolkit on how to establish, run and resource a group.
  • An annual residential training course designed for advanced practitioners.
  • The ongoing STBP mentoring programme provides one-to-one mentoring in a live setting for apprentice practitioners.
  • We provide seed funding for new groups, on a bespoke basis and subject to applicants demonstrating medium to long-term sustainability plans.

Our flagship Canterbury Skylarks STBP group models an intergenerational initiative with students from Langton Boys’ school in Canterbury. The group is run by the Head of Music and new STBP artistic director, Emily Renshaw-Kidd, and offers sixth form students the opportunity to observe and engage with participants, and develop a greater understanding of age related health challenges. We believe that this idea of working with community as part of the school day is an important part of building relationships and empathy. We are currently working with students to develop their own published methodology for Singing with Parkinson’s.

STBP has operated in partnership with:

  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton – collaboration on observation and evaluation of co-hosted STBP group in Parkinson’s Centre of Excellence
  • University of Kent – embedding STBP group in new Parkinson’s Centre for Integrated Therapy
  • Britten Pears Arts – who provide workshop/event space, promotion and group hosting
  • University of Derby - Dr Yoon Irons delivers research component of our training programme and co-founded a STBP group in a clinical setting in the Parkinson’s Centre at University Hospital in Derby
  • Creative Folkestone - free provision of space and staff for training courses
  • Morley College - free provision of space and staff for training, and promotion to their adult education students
  • Music4Wellbeing - training and mentoring provision