SUN CITY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - It's more than just music and a place to sing songs.
It's music therapy.
Every performer in the West Side Tremble Clefs Choir has Parkinson's disease.
"Singing can be a very effective way of therapy for people with Parkinson's disease," said music director Sun Joo Lee. "Not only to improve their voice skills but also enhance the quality of their lives."
The unique singing group was created 10 years ago, thanks to instructor Lee, a former opera singer from Korea, who got a degree in music therapy at Arizona State University.
Lee has seen first hand how the sound of music can stimulate the brain, and how rhythm and song can improve patients movements and balance.
"They become so happy," said Lee. "They see the value of their lives, because they are sharing the same problems, but come together for each other. The music brings joy and confidence about them to keep living life and feel the value for each other through music."
Beth Lee has been singing with the choir since it started, and can't say enough about the love and dedication Sun Joo brings to every rehearsal and every performance.
Beth and some other choir members reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to their music teacher.
"She sees every new person that comes in as a person looking for love and attention that they haven't received," said Beth. "Their voices get stronger and stronger, and when their voice comes out and they sing, everybody is so excited."
A CBS 5 news camera was rolling when Beth showed to surprise their choir teacher and give her $500.
"We want you to know that we love you," said Beth. "You've gone out of your way to help every one of us here in this room, and you've reached out to so many people. We just want you to know you've paid it forward, and we're paying it forward to you, and with that, I'd like to present you with $500."
"I am more than a therapist and more than music director for them," said Sun Joo. "I am very honored to be part of their lives."
The West Side Tremble Clefs Choir of Sun City is a nonprofit organization that relies on the generous contributions of members of the community.
If you are interested in helping the choir you can visit their website.