The Trembling Troubadours Sing to Fight Parkinson’s Disease

Millions of people all over the world battle Parkinson’s Disease, which is a disorder that attacks the central nervous system. Here in Chattanooga, there is a group that fights the effects of Parkinson’s Disease with singing, while having fun at the same time.

They gather every Friday. For an hour, at North River YMCA in Hixson. They sing. As choirs do. It’s the “Trembling Troubadours.” Having an enjoyable time. While fighting the deadly effects of Parkinson’s Disease. It might be unique, but more than anything, it’s therapeutic!

Kathy Goforth, the Chattanooga Business Director with Life Care Centers said, “It helps with keeping the voice strong and loud. With Parkinson’s, everything begins to get small. And so to ward off the symptoms, you want to keep things big. And keeping the voice loud and strong is one of them. But it’s also a fun thing. We have a great time.”

The “Trembling Troubadours” was started some two and a half years ago by Kathy Goforth and her daughter Katie, who is a certified music therapist. This might be a social group. And a support group. But it all centers around one thing: music.

Katie Goforth Elverd, UTC director of Music Therapy, “The one thing that’s great about music therapy is that it’s a mask for what we’re doing. We’re not teaching to sing or read music or play an instrument. We’re using music to help facilitate breath production and volume.”

Put them all together, and the “Troubadours” sport about 20 members. Picking up six NEW members this year.
The pandemic has put a stop to their concerts……but when COVID settles down……….

Katie Goforth, “Typically, we’ll do a Christmas concert. And a Valentine’s Day concert, as well as a 4th of July concert. And at the North River Civic Center in the past.”

Anyone is welcome to attend the group. At any stage of Parkinson’s. Caregivers are welcome. Only one requirement: that’s a love of singing!

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