Singing for Breathing RLH (Royal London Hospital) is a musical health group for people who want to learn to better manage breathlessness through singing in a friendly local community.
Our sessions will help you with breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, and the fun of singing. The sessions are designed to be enjoyable and foster community, as well as to help with your symptoms and breath control.
The session will start with a warm-up to prepare your body and get you ready to sing. This will probably include:
The breathing exercises will help you to control feelings of breathlessness, develop helpful breathing habits, and coordinate your breath with movement. You will learn to use your diaphragm to breath and make sound, developing a healthy and efficient breathing pattern over time.
Your singing facilitator will choose songs that are suitable for people with breathlessness or with a lung condition and, that are enjoyable for all. If there's a song you love (or a song you don't want to sing) we take that on-board. In our online sessions, those who want to can come off mute while we take turns to sing each line of a well-known song.
We sing songs from a variety of styles in a few ways: call-and-response, together as a group, in rounds with the melody starting at different times or, in parts where you can sing harmonies in a comfortable register. The group likes to learn music from many cultures and languages. View our songbook for an idea of the songs we usually sing.
Regular singing as part of a group is good for your general health and well-being, and for improving your quality of life if you’re living with a lung condition. You don't need to be a good singer, or an experienced singer to join in. We always say, it's not about the singing - it's about the breathing!
Our sessions are aimed at those who experience breathlessness, including anyone suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, long-COVID, pulmonary fibrosis, or any other lung-health problem - and is open to anyone living with breathlessness of any cause and, their carers. You do not need a referral to join the group.
Sessions are led by an Asthma+Lung UK trained Singing for Breathing facilitator. You have the freedom to join in at your own pace, and sessions are appropriate for seated or standing participation.
Sessions are long, and are held weekly on Wednesdays at . The group meets online, with monthly in-person sessions in Stratford (with online access). All our sessions are free to attend.
Our sessions are open to those living or working in or around the Newham area. If we're not local to you, you can find support in your area on the Asthma+Lung UK support network.
You can register to join Singing for Breathing RLH by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be required to provide your address, so we can reach you in case of an emergency during a session.
We use Zoom for our online sessions and for remote access to in-person sessions.
If you're not familiar with Zoom, we recommend you get set up before your first session to learn how it works. You can use Zoom's Meetings Guide to download and install the software to your device, and find out how to join a meeting and connect your audio.
38 Celebration Avenue, Stratford, London E20 1DB
The LightHouse is a ground-floor venue with lots of natural light and lovely open acoustics. It's located 's walk from Stratford International Rail and DLR Stations and from Stratford Underground and Rail Stations via Westfield Shopping Centre. Celebration Ave is served by TFL bus routes 97 and 108.
The venue has free Wi-Fi, an accessible toilet with baby change mat, adjustable lighting with dimmers and blinds, and temperature controls. There is a kitchen with access to drinking water.
Entry to the space is via a wide door and entrance way (this non-automatic door is heavier than usual and takes some effort to open; if you have difficulty there will be someone to open the door). Access to the venue from the pavement, and all spaces within, is step-free. There is lots of space for buggies and buggy-parking.
“I was aware that lots of people have problems with their breathing that go on for years and years and there's only so much that drugs and inhalers can help with.
—Dr. Anna Moore
Singing for Breathing has been running since and started at the Royal London Hospital. It was set up by Dr Anna Moore, a respiratory doctor at Bart's Health, who recognised the need for a group that could offer therapeutic activity to help with breathlessness management, along with social support on a regular, long-term basis, free of cost for participants.
The benefits of singing include reducing breathlessness and improving wellbeing. We have a growing evidence-base for the management of breathlessness, particularly in chronic lung disease, and the potential to significantly improve health equity. Singing and breathing exercises is helping patients and, improving the care they’re given.
Running time .
Produced and Directed by Peter Boyd Maclean
Anna is a respiratory doctor at The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s hospitals, a medical educator, mum and, Joint Vice Chair of Green at Barts. She has been highly commended as London’s Public Sector Individual Changemaker of the Year at Global Action Plan's Sustainable City Awards 2022.
Cleo is a singer, songwriter, arranger, community choir director, and singing for lung health specialist. She is a member of the natural voice network proving singing is everyone regardless of musical experience or ability. She is also a singing lead with Breathe Arts Health Research.
Ruth is a Software Engineer who has been attending Singing for Breathing since 2022. Since joining the group her asthma has finally come under control, she's able to do more and use her reliever inhaler less. She grew up in Newham and now lives in nearby Kent.
eg The LightHouse and Gardens have kindly donated their space to us to use for our sessions.
Thanks to all our group members, who participate with a song in their step! All participants are invited to attend quarterly and annual meetings as required by ask Catherine for info.
“It's very good for socialising, and it's a benefit for my lungs.
“Singing for Breathing has become an integral part of my personal well-being routine.
“I can now walk without panting and along with a better diet and loss of weight have reduced my blood pressure to a point where my doctor has taken me off blood pressure medication.
“The sessions have really helped me focus better on my breathing.
“It's good for your mental health, and you're not alone with your condition.
“My asthma has finally come under control, I've stopped snoring and, I'm using my reliever inhaler less.
“I have kept up a fairly active social life by joining other groups, though singing was the first.
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Singing for Breathing RLH needs your name and email address in order to send you information about group activities. We only use these details to send you information about our future sessions, and information about our Singing for Breathing community. We do this because it is in the legitimate interest of our group to publicise our sessions to regular attendees.
Your details are stored securely by our committee, and will be deleted if you do not attend a session for 12 months. You can ask us to amend or delete your details at any time by contacting Singing for Breathing.
Personal data is information about a person which is identifiable as being about them. It can be stored electronically or on paper, and includes images and audio recordings as well as written information.
Data protection is about how we, as a non-profit organisation, protect the rights and privacy of individuals, and comply with the law when collecting, storing, using, amending, sharing, destroying or deleting personal data.
Overall and final responsibility for data protection lies with the management committee, who are responsible for overseeing activities and ensuring this policy is upheld. All volunteers are responsible for observing this policy, and related procedures, in all areas of their work for the group.
Singing For Breathing RLH needs to keep personal data about its participants, volunteers, committee, and supporters in order to carry out group activities. We will collect, store, use, amend, share, destroy or delete personal data only in ways which protect people’s privacy and comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other relevant legislation.
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We want Singing for Breathing sessions to be enjoyable and welcoming to all our participants, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, employment status, physical appearance, body size, economic background, race, or religion. We expect kindness and care from all our participants, guests, leaders and organisers, online and in-person.
We encourage all attendees to make participating a comfortable experience for everyone, and to help foster compassionate group involvement.
If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact one of the organisers right away.
Please take look at the Accessibility section for more.
Please treat everyone with dignity and respect and without prejudice toward any protected characteristic. We welcome everyone to share their pronouns in our online meetings.
There is one accessible gender-neutral toilet at The LightHouse.
In person and on-line sessions are free to attend. We have received funding from Bart's Health and the National Lottery in the past, as well as fundraising from community members to keep sessions free.
We are a non-profit and welcome donations to keep our sessions running. TODO Just Giving, shopping link.
We aim to create a family-inclusive environment and our venue is all-ages. Babies and young people are free to express themselves. Parents or guardians are not judged for their approaches to caring for their children or charges.
Buggies and carriers are provided space and access. Breastfeeding/nursing is welcome and semi-private space is available for this.
These policies are influenced and informed by statements from XOXO fest, The Postal Museum, codebar, NHS, Afrotech Fest, RNIB and The Story House.
Headline image from the Centre for Aging Better Image Library published under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Creative Commons.