STB News


Sing to Beat Parkinson’s were delighted to host their 6th residential training course for the first time at The Grand in Folkestone on Saturday February 3rd and Sunday February 4th 2024.

Sing to Beat Parkinson’s 6th residential training course

The course offered an opportunity for singing and health group leaders to engage in open space and reflection, to share best practice, and to gain the additional specialist skills and experience required to run singing groups for people living with Parkinson’s.

The course was led by our training team comprising:

  • Nicola Wydenbach
    (Director of Training at Sing to Beat Parkinson’s)
  • Trish Vella-Burrows
    (Director of Music4Wellbeing, Sing to Beat Parkinson’s researcher and leading practitioner)
  • Dr Yoon Irons
    (Associate Professor of Arts for Health and Wellbeing)
  • Matt Shipton (Programme Director of Sing to Beat)
    with additional guest practitioners, Emily Renshaw-Kidd (Artistic Director) and Prof Grenville Hancox (Hon. President and founder).
  • Completing the Sing to Beat Parkinson’s training sessions has really helped me to understand how singing and musical activities can help people living with the condition and also how the practice is closely aligned to medical research. I take so much of what I have learned into my groups in the community and have gained in confidence with the support of the network. Attending the course each year is such a valuable experience where I not only learn so much useful information but connect with other, supportive leaders and it is a really great community to be part of.

    The Sing to Beat Parkinson's training is second to none and imperative for anyone wanting to use singing to help those with PD improve so many aspects of their physical and mental wellbeing. In addition to the information learned from the founding Practitioners and research Directors, the support and ideas from fellow alumni both on the course and via members groups is invaluable. I can't wait for the next one!

    Attending the Sing to Beat course was totally life changing for me. I was so inspired that I gave up a 17 year career in the Probation Service to become a full time singing for Health Practitioner. It is impossible to put into words how grateful I am to Nicola, Grenville, Trish and everyone else involved for spreading the word and teaching us all how to help those living with Parkinson's through the power of singing. It's absolutely amazing.

    Sing to Beat's next introductory online training course is scheduled over two weekends in November (9/10 and 16/17) later in 2024.

    Our next residential course will take place in Folkestone on 7/8/9 February 2025.

    We are hoping to schedule a one-day course in the Midlands later in 2024. Watch this space for more information. Full details will be announced nearer the time, but if you are interested in taking part, please save the date (s) and/or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Emily Renshaw-Kidd takes up the reins as Artistic Director of Canterbury Cantata Trust

Following over 10 years as founder and Artistic Director of Canterbury Cantata Trust, Professor Grenville Hancox MBE has handed over the role to his successor Emily Renshaw-Kidd. Grenville has been a long-time mentor, inspiration and friend to Emily through her music degrees at Canterbury Christ Church University and their numerous musical partnerships; they share the same passion for and ethos of “caring through singing”. Following a handover period, Emily is now working as Artistic Director for the charity and will begin to undertake the tasks that this role presents, acting as a principal singing ambassador for the charity. We thank Grenville for his huge dedication to the advancement of music for wellbeing and the trust is delighted that he has accepted the position of Honorary President of Canterbury Cantata Trust.

Emily in action at the tenth anniversary celebrations

Emily in action at the tenth anniversary celebrations

Emily Renshaw-Kidd

Emily Renshaw-Kidd

Emily said: “I am extremely honoured and excited to become the new Artistic Director for Canterbury Cantata Trust. My present involvement with the trust as Musical Director of the Canterbury Cantata Choir and lead facilitator for Canterbury Skylark’s Sing to Beat Parkinson’s group gives me a deep understanding and admiration for the trust, whilst giving me plenty of ideas for building and developing relationships and projects in the future. My involvement in several other local singing groups and my role as Director of Music Langton Boys’, will enable us to create even more new opportunities for bringing the community together in a caring way, through singing and music. The Langton’s recognised methodology for Singing with Parkinson’s and encourage other people far and wide to become facilitators and recognise the benefits of music on many health conditions.”

The launch of the Parkinson’s Centre for Integrated Therapy in Canterbury was a great success, receiving excellent coverage and the Skylark’s singing session, led by Emily, was mentioned by Mark Mardell, a member of the podcast group,”

Mark Mardell @MarkIMardell
Former BBC R4 presenter, North America Editor, Europe Editor, Chief Political correspondent. Now Ronin, freelance writer and broadcaster. 2,737 following 37.7K Followers
“The all singing, all dancing centre is now launched! Ever since I first heard about it I thought the Parkinson Centre for integrative therapy in Canterbury was a good idea. But visiting it in person convinced me it is a brilliant one”

Pathway Social Group provides a social community, stemming from (but not exclusive to) PCIT membership – but is open to anyone with a  neurological condition along with those all support them.  Pathway drop-in sessions provide the opportunity to relax and chat in a welcoming environment, have a slice of cake and plan future social activities.

Next Drop in sessions at PCIT in Canterbury:

Francis and Peter will next be available in the social area at the Centre on:-

Monday 4th September  -    13:00 until 16:00

Thursday 14th September   -  9:00 until 13:00

for more info please contact Matt Shipton This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


One of Sing to Beat Singing Leaders, Nicki Kennedy, is based in Jersey. Wetwheels Jersey, the Variety Sailing Trust, Aureole Music and Parkinson’s Jersey organised a day out on the water for the Sparky Parkies, the choir for people living with Parkinson’s. Sea Shanties and other music were sung on this floating stage. Run by Nicki Kennedy, of Aureole Music, in collaboration with Parkinson’s Jersey, the choir normally meets on Friday afternoons to sing together and to work with speech and language therapist Sarah Lock to combat the negative effects that the illness can have on speech, voice and swallowing. Dina Rogan, operations director of Wetwheels, said they were thrilled to be involved, having previously welcomed members of the Parkinson’s Society onboard Wetwheels and worked with the Aureole Choir when they raised funds with a sea shanty recording. ‘This is a great collaboration and one I am very much looking forward to. Bringing together the benefits of both being on the sea and singing is sure to make for a delightful experience,’ she said. Congratulations Nicki!