Music therapist brings chords to the wards

Music therapist brings chords to the wards

22 July 2021

Music therapist brings chords to the wards
Hospital can be a distressing a place for younger patients. Poor health, anxiety, and an unfamiliar environment can result in an upsetting and stressful experience for children.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Chiltern Music Therapy to provide regular sessions to St Mary’s Hospital’s paediatric wards, and they’re already having a big impact.

Music therapist Natasha Larkin is touring the wards twice a week, offering tailored sessions twice a week to patients and their families. Using her guitar and a range of percussion instruments, Natasha offers a calming space to explore musical interactions and sounds.

She said: “Providing moments and feelings of normality through music can support the patient and family to process and manage their stay in hospital. Engaging in music therapy can also help decrease the perception of pain and support physiological changes such as reducing heart rate and increasing oxygen saturation rates.”

Despite only starting in May, she’s already made a big impression on the wards:

“The team at St Mary’s Hospital have been so welcoming and supportive of the introduction of music therapy, really recognising the benefits and support it can offer patients. I had a lovely experience last week when I walked onto the PICU ward to be greeted by one of the nurses exclaiming excitedly that they had been waiting for me and the two patients I have been working with benefit so much from my sessions. 

“Music therapy is often a new experience for the children and parents on the children’s wards so it is great to see the appreciation and understanding of the benefits from parents and children. When a session begins with a very scared, tearful young child and ends with boundless energy and smiles you know it’s been a good music therapy experience!”

Over the coming months, Natasha will be working closely with art psychotherapist Alice Patrick who, with support from the charity, has been providing essential therapeutic support to young patients since 2019.

You can find out more about our arts engagement programme here.