Our work with Music in Hospitals and Care has also now been extended to our Neonatal Intensive Care Units at St Mary's Hospital and Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital.
The programme involves trained musicians visiting the neonatal intensive care unit to perform gentle lullabies at the bedside, helping babies and their parents relax and enjoy moments of bonding. The hourly sessions are delivered bi-weekly in each hospital unit.
The experience of listening to the soothing sounds of lullabies offer comfort and help create special memories for parents and their babies. Medical research shows that music can reduce the perception of pain and decrease feelings of stress, anxiety and depression in patients, relatives and staff. It also helps to provide a supportive, calm hospital environment for parents and their newborns.
Due to the Pandemic putting a pause on many of our programmes, Lullaby Hour has been reimagined into a remote project called Melodies and Massage. Read more about it and our Remote Programme here.
We are delighted to be working with national charity Music in Hospitals & Care to bring their programme ICU Hear to Intensive Care at St Mary’s Hospital. Trained musicians give weekly live performances, using a variety of instruments to help patients relax and to take their mind of their stressful surroundings.
South Asian dance company Akademi’s project Dance Well brings music and dance to care homes, day centres and hospitals. Akademi dance artists are visiting our patients in an elderly rehabilitation unit, using South Asian dance to complement their physical rehabilitation. The programme aims to promote greater social engagement and well-being amongst older adults, to increase health and fitness in the aging community and to offer those living with dementia the chance to engage with creative and cultural material.
In order to continue bringing the benefits of dance to our patients during the current Pandemic, Akademi have made us a whole host of recorded dance classes which you can watch here, in our Art Resource Library.
The Rhythm Studio
The Rhythm Studio uses music-making, singing and drumming to engage young people in paediatric wards at St Mary’s Hospital. Offering bi-monthly workshops, the Rhythm Studio helps develop a lively community feel on the wards, creating a happier environment. While many of our sessions have now had to take place remotely or online, the Rhythm Studio have been running one-to-one virtual music lessons with young people who are isolating due to the Pandemic.
We have worked with some wonderful theatre companies and organisations who have helped bring joy onto our hospital’s wards. We have had live and interactive theatre performances on our Paediatric wards at St Mary’s from Box Tale Soup and Little Angel Theatre who both use the magic of puppetry within their performances. Captain Fantastic have helped us continue theatre-based entertainment to children receiving treatment at our trust during the pandemic, through running live virtual magic shows over Zoom.
We have also collaborated with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on our Intergenerational Project. Dr Nicola Abraham, lecturer and professional applied-theatre practitioner, has helped us to develop and run process-drama workshops with local school children and our Medicine for the Elderly patients, encouraging the two generations to make connections and get creative together!