Music at Heart
Music at Heart is Creative Futures' music in hospitals programme. It brings together a team of highly experienced musicians, led by Zoë Palmer, who have worked in health settings for many years.
There are two strands to Music at Heart:
at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel (see below)
at St Mary's Hospital in north Westminster - click here
At the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel our team of talented musicians visited the children's wards and paediatric A&E every week from late 2018 until coronavirus restricted access in 2020, offering moments of musical respite at bedsides for children resident in long term wards and children awaiting immediate treatment.
Working in pairs, the musicians performed a repertoire of fun, engaging and soothing songs, and created opportunities for collaboration with the children using instruments from our music box such as shakers, hand chimes, tiny drums (not too loud) and maracas. The musicians introduced their own musical instruments including the cello, ukulele, hand pan and guitar and performed an eclectic range of songs from familiar nursery rhymes to funky renditions of contemporary tunes.
Through a strongly communicative and collaborative approach to their music-making, our regular team of musicians built a strong rapport with the children and their families, singing and performing together with the aim of reducing anxiety and bringing a sense of happiness to those who need it most. The project has been a joy for us at Creative Futures and we are grateful to the Barts Play Team with whom we have closely collaborated to ensure the delivery of a musical project suited to the children's needs.
For one day in February 2020, Creative Futures took over the Healing Space, a multi-sensory room used by the children, to stage a day of creative engagement including arts & crafts, story-telling and music-making. Led by the children, lyrics and music were composed that told the story of a magical firebird travelling across London in her quest to return the smiles to children who were unhappy. Here's a video that captures the essence of our work.
The project has been funded by BBC Children in Need, and was supported by Arts Council England during its first year.