Tom Kobel

Tom Kobel
24.11.2021

The English were the fastest: Already in April Altea reported on the program of the English National Opera, ENO Breathe (click here for the blog post). The common singing courses and lessons in professional breathing technique were experienced as positive and helpful by the participants.

First course started in Switzerland

A similar project has now started in Switzerland under the title “MEA - Musik, Emotion und Atmung" (Music, Emotion and Breathing). In the last few weeks and months, the tenor Felix Strobl has set up a program in collaboration with the Pro Mente Sana Foundation. The pilot course lasts 6 weeks and has been running since mid-November. The course takes place on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

It addresses all those affected by Long COVID. "You don't need any singing experience or musical talent. The joy of working with your own voice and breathing will come naturally", says the flyer for the course. In addition to the exercises in breathing technique and posture, singing together as a social experience should have its effect.

All about the course subscription

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You can register for the course "MEA – Musik, Emotion und Atmung" (Music, Emotion and Breathing) course at longcovidgesang@promentesana.ch with a registration form (german). The registration deadline is 31 December. Prerequisites for participation are a medical Long COVID diagnosis, the willingness to get involved in singing together and to take part in all 6 modules, as well as access to a computer with internet connection. The course is conducted online. The cost sharing is 150 Suisse francs.

Next course from January

The first pilot course is currently running. However, it is already clear that there will be another edition in early 2022. Starting on 12 January 2022, an online course will take place every Wednesday at 5 p.m. Later, scientific monitoring of the course programme is also planned. "We are pleased that the course has met with a good response. We are thinking about expanding the courses to other languages next year," says Felix Strobl.

Art and science

Felix Strobl, who lives in Zurich, is not only a classically trained singer with international stage experience, but has also worked as a paramedic for several years. He is currently studying neuroscience at King’s College London. Because of this background, it was clear to him early on that he wanted to do something for those affected by Long COVID. “The idea of harnessing the positive effects of singing for those affected and combining art with science has never let go of me,” he says.

Bild Felix Strobl WEB

In the Pro Mente Sana Foundation, Felix Strobl has found a partner who supports him in his project and gives the project an organizational home. The aim is for the project to be medically supported by hospitals. Since the course takes place online, interested parties can take part regardless of where they live.

In the long term, we are also striving to offer workshops and courses in singing halls. "We already have a lot of ideas for further development," reveals Felix Strobl.

Updated version: 23 November 2021

Exchange on Long COVID in the Altea Forum

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Altea opened a forum for direct exchange about Long COVID. Addressed are those affected by Long COVID, their relatives, doctors, researchers, therapists and other interested parties. The discussions are located in a protected member area that is accessible after creating a profile.

Discuss, for example, changes in the sense of taste and smell, Long COVID in children or tips against shortness of breath. Suggestions for further discussion topics are welcome. Log in now or create a profile »