The Singing 4 Breathing Choir was founded by two occupational therapy students following an assignment where the students researched the benefits of singing for those individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The evidence was clear and the students decided to set up a group in Northampton.
The Singing 4 Breathing Choir has gone from strength to strength and now has regularly 50-60 choir members attending each week. The group is facilitated by our graduate and also one of the founders, James Wyatt; as well as singing instructor Chris Startup who each week, directs the choir members to learn, sing and develop skills using lots of different music genre.
The University of Northampton’s Occupational Therapy students have been supporting the group for over a year by attending weekly to help choir members as needed in order for them to engage fully in the group which has been well received by the choir members and much appreciated by James. The students gain many skills which support their learning and development in their studies to become an occupational therapist.
As part of the innovation learning and teaching bid, we have been able to offer members of the choir home assessments to look beyond just their participation in the group, but how they also manage at home engaging in other day to day activities. Individuals have been assessed by a Senior Lecturer, who is a qualified occupational therapist, as well as the occupational therapy students. It is common that individuals we have seen have complex health needs and our input has enabled us to provide advice on a number of different areas which impacts on people engaging in activities that they need or want to do.
We are continuing to support a number of individuals of the choir over the next month. Students have been able to input and influence decisions which has enabled their learning whilst making a difference to people’s lives.