Jaye Budd, Executive Director of the Alchemy Sky Foundation, talks about the Singing with Parkinson's choir during practice at Renaissance Senior Living Facility, Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Singing with Parkinson's is a choir group started by the Alchemy Sky Foundation and led by The George Center. The choir, which rehearses on Wednesday at the Renaissance Senior Living Facility, is open to individuals at any stage of the disease and their caregivers. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Atlanta’s 1st therapeutic Parkinson’s choir holding free Roswell show

On Sunday, you can watch people heal themselves through music.

Singing with Parkinson’s, metro Atlanta’s first therapeutic choir for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, is holding a free performance that day.

The show will be at North River Baptist Church, 2090 Hardscrabble Road in Roswell.

The choir was formed in April 2018, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported, by the Alchemy Sky Foundation, which helps adults living with Parkinson’s improve their quality of life.

The Mayo Clinic describes Parkinson’s as a progressive disorder of the nervous system that negatively affects movement by causing certain nerve cells in the brain to gradually break down or die. Patient are often left with tremors, stiffness or slowness.

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Alchemy Sky gets its music therapy expertise from the Roswell-based The George Center, a well-regarded music therapy group. Thanks Mom & Dad Fund of Atlanta, a charity that supports services for the aging population, helped fund the program.

Alchemy Sky said research has shown music therapy gives physical benefits to Parkinson’s patients like improving swallowing and motor function. 

There are other advantages, like how music has been shown to help synchronize neural activity and increase releases of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are feel-good brain chemicals that are usually diminished in Parkinson’s patients.

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There’s no known cure for the disease, but Alchemy Sky executive director Jaye Budd said they sing weekly and “use this emotional outlet to address the physical and neurologic symptoms of PD and to foster relationships between our members.”

The show Sunday is dubbed “Music Across the Pond: Songs of the British Isles and the Americas.” It begins at 3 p.m.

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