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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Cape Conservatory Offers Unique Program for People with Parkinson's

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Cape Conservatory Offers Unique Program for People with Parkinson's

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Jan 13, 2016

The Cape Conservatory (Barnstable, MA) recently announced an innovative singing group designed for participants living with Parkinson's disease. Developed in partnership with the Parkinson Support Network of Cape Cod (PSN) and the American Parkinson Disease Association, the group is designed to help those with Parkinson's disease maintain the health of their voice, build community through singing, and experience hope – and joy – through music.

The program came about after Joyce Ginouves, an adult voice student with the Conservatory, revealed that her husband had been diagnosed with Parkinson's. According to Gail Dunford of the Cape Conservatory, “along this new journey, Joyce and her husband discovered a scarcity of educational, psychosocial, and wellness programs on Cape Cod for individuals living with Parkinson's disease. And so in 2009, she founded the Parkinson Support Network of Cape Cod.”

After forming the PSN, Joyce Ginouves approached the Cape Conservatory about including programming specifically designed for the Parkinson community. Ginouves, citing a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, noted that the ability to continue to sing and halt further speech decline was demonstrated when individuals participated in singing sessions. Furthermore, she pointed out that patients may be less likely to join a typical singing group due to the disabilities of the illness, particularly as the illness progresses. The goal, then, was to provide the Parkinson community access to a supportive environment for singing.

With grant support from the Town of Barnstable Disability Commission and the Parkinson Support Network of Cape Cod, the Conservatory is now launching Sing for Joy, a free, 16-week program that will offer singing opportunities for those living with Parkinson's.

About the Cape Conservatory

The Cape Conservatory offers instruction in all major instrument groups, vocal instruction, and classes in art, dance, and photography. Conservatory campuses in Falmouth and West Barnstable offer students of all ages the opportunity to discover – or rediscover – their passions for the arts.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.