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.

Sing to Beat partners with NHS on COVID-19 project

Sing to Beat is excited to announce a new partnership with the NHS, Music4Wellbeing and the University of Derby. We will be jointly delivering a programme of support for patients experiencing chronic post-COVID symptoms. Short, regular, singing sessions will be delivered online to patients across the four ICP NHS regions of Kent and Medway. Patients will be signposted to the service by medical professionals across the county.



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National Survey on Singing and Health groups during COVID-19

Sing to Beat Parkinson's is partnering on a new study led by The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health on the measures taken by Singing for Health Groups and Community Choirs to keep singing, despite the lockdown.
The Sidney De Haan Centre has teamed up with Canterbury Cantata TrustLive Music Now, and the Natural Voice Network to gather information on how groups have used online platforms like Zoom to continue their work with long-term health conditions, such as COPD and Parkinson’s which render them especially vulnerable to the virus.
Professor Grenville Hancox, Creative Director of Canterbury Cantata Trust and the Sing to Beat Parkinson’s project, said: "The collection and analysis of information associated with different approaches to delivery will inform best practice, essential for practitioners going forward in these uncertain times.”

Musicians leading Singing for Health Groups and Community Choirs supporting the wellbeing of their members, can take part by completing the online questionnaire here.

The surveys will run from Monday 18 May for four weeks and a report on the findings will be available by early July.

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Sing to Beat Parkinson's Online Group Support

Sing to Beat Parkinson's Online Group Support

Our Director of Training, Nicola Wydenbach, has created online videos for her Sing to Beat Parkinson's Skylarks groups which can be accessed on Nicola's YouTube Channel

If you would like to take part in one of our Live weekly Zoom Groups, then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register your interest

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Isolation Choir


Phil Self, who runs a number of Canterbury Cantata Trust community singing groups, including Monday Music in Canterbury, has just produced the first in a number of projects designed to ensure we remain connected with our 'Singing for Health' and 'Sing to Beat Parkinson's' friends across East Kent and Medway during this difficult time.

The Isolation Choir sing their first song ever - the traditional song 'Wild Mountain Thyme'. 54 singers and 7 instrumentalists playing 9 different instruments. Many of these singers come from singing groups across East Kent and Medway who sing for their health and well-being as well as the enjoyment they get out if it. This includes people living with Parkinson's and other neurological conditions. Please see the links below for information on more of these groups.

To view the video click here:

For more information about the Isolation Choir, find them on Facebook: 

This video also feature contributions from many professional musicians - please support as many of them as you can during these unprecedented times. Please donate to The Isolation Choir - Caring Through Singing project here:

The Isolation Choir - Caring Through Singing is lovingly supported by these wonderful organisations:





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Coronavirus Update

Canterbury Cantata Trust  has  been closely following news and information around the Coronavirus outbreak and we wanted to let you know how we are responding to the changing situation. 

Following advice from the Government and NHS with regard to the risk to older members of society through the spread of this virus, we will suspend all our activities with immediate effect until it is appropriate and safe to meet together again.

Thus from Monday March 16th and until further notice, Canterbury Monday Music, Folkestone Monday Music, Amici Chorus, Canterbury Skylarks and Cantata choir will not meet.


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International study on Singing and Parkinson’s published

A groundbreaking new international study on Singing and Parkinson’s has found that group singing enhances quality of life and mental health in older people. This paper explored whether there are differences in the effects of group singing intervention on people with Parkinson’s (PwPs) in Australia, UK and South Korea.

Grenville Hancox, Artistic Director and Founder of Sing to Beat Parkinson’s and Trish Vella-Burrows, Director of Research were both co-authors of this paper.

The paper is open-access and freely available to view here

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Grenville Hancox to give lecture at Salzburg University

Grenville Hancox, Artistic Director and Founder of Sing to Beat Parkinson's has been invited to demonstrate the power of singing as an intervention for people with Parkinson's at the University of Salzburg on November 14th. 

Prior to the development of language, early man relied on the modulation of sound to communicate, to express emotions, and to respond to the natural and imagined worlds beyond his own. The long evolutionary process of man using modulated sound is of far greater significance than the flowering of Western European art music to the maintenance and development of wellbeing. 

The modulation of sound, i.e. singing, served as a means for survival. Yet throughout history, singing has become exclusive rather than inclusive, moving from the centre to the periphery of our existence. In advocating group singing as an intervention for the improvement of health and wellbeing, Grenville Hancox will call upon historical description, contemporary research, and his own work along with that of his colleagues, all promoting the social prescription of group singing. The lecture will be illustrated and may involve you singing together.



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Sing to Beat Parkinson's Training at Trinity Laban Sunday 17th November

Trinity Laban are offering community choir leaders, vocal teachers or music therapists confident in group leading the opportunity to find out more about leading singing for people living with Parkinson’s disease. Sing to Beat Parkinson's Director of Training, Nicola Wydenbach, will be leading the training. Full details can be found at

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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 for Singing on Prescription


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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


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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 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:

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Sing to Beat Parkinson's Seminar - Creative Ageing

Sing to Beat Parkinson's Seminar - Creative Ageing

Sing to Beat Parkinson's Research Seminar

A blog by Emily Bradfield, PhD Student, Health and Social Care, University of Derby


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Thanks to the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation

Thanks to the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation

STBP are extremely grateful to the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, who have just donated a generous grant to support new STBP groups across the UK.

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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