Singing instructor with the Tune UP programme Namie Rasman said that during the sessions, which are held in three purpose-built spaces called “wellness kampungs” in Yishun, the group does body exercises and vocal warm ups before starting with the singing.
“The aim is to allow these participants to be aware of their breath and their posture, and also for them to have fun,” she said.
EFFECTS OF SINGING
Aside from having fun, the singing sessions have helped with the participants’ breathing, she noted.
"Their voices get louder and louder … and they sing longer phrases. So that means they have better control of their breath and are more aware (of their breathing techniques), and they are able to breathe out longer,” she said.
Ms Koh said that being able to better control their breathing can also help with anxiety, which tends to be a common feature in people with breathlessness.
“In a group setting surrounded by other friends who also have breathlessness, that can then also help to give them a sense of belonging, and hopefully also improve their social as well as their psychological well-being,” she said.
Tune UP was adapted from a programme in the United Kingdom by the British Lung Foundation. In that programme, research done on more than 100 participants showed that after 12 weeks of singing, there were significant improvements in how their conditions affected daily living.
At least two in five reported fewer doctor visits and nearly 20 per cent had fewer hospital admissions.