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Music in Hospitals wards away the blues

Monday, 13 July, 2015
Music in Hospitals wards away the blues

Thanks to a national charity “moving on up” to Newcastle to help improve the quality of life for people in hospitals, care homes and day centres through the use of professional live music, patients will soon be singing, “I feel good” and “Things can only get better.”

Music in Hospitals was founded in 1948 and now for the first time the charity will be working in the North East with the appointment of Alison Forbes as Fundraising and Development Manager.

Last year 4,319 concerts were provided nationally and it is expected that in the coming months, around 100 concerts will take place within the region with professional musicians performing to patients and their families.

The first of the concerts by Music In Hospitals (North East), whose vision is ‘putting music at the heart of healthcare’, delighted patients and visitors to North Tyneside General Hospital with a free concert by the Andy Kain Duo.

Soon, more performances in the series of showcase concerts will take place in NHS hospitals, care homes and other venues across the North East.

The charity works with professional standard musicians who are carefully chosen by audition and who all have the right communication skills to help them to interact with the audience irrespective of their illness, disability or age.

Regional Director North of Music In Hospitals, Sid Richards was delighted that the charity has decided to raise its profile in the North East.

“This area is a hotbed of musical talent and everyone of our chosen musicians represents that creativity and professionalism in their work with us. Seeing a seriously ill person simply smile is enough reason to justify our work notwithstanding the benefits the concerts bring to all who attend.

“The therapeutic benefits of music shouldn’t be underestimated. Music goes a long way to raising morale, giving hope and it certainly can reduce perceived feelings of pain, especially in elderly care or intensive care, as well as making you feel happier too. We are looking forward to hearing some great music and brightening up people’s stays on wards.”

Brenda Longstaff, head of arts and the patient environment at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We are delighted to promote this exciting new programme of musical therapy for our patients and to host the launch of Music in Hospitals within the North East at North Tyneside General Hospital.

“Over the years we have found that art and music are extremely powerful therapeutic tools to help to reduce people’s anxieties of being in hospital and create an uplifting atmosphere.

“We are pleased to welcome Music in Hospitals to the region and look forward to working with them to launch a series of concerts in wards and waiting areas across the trust’s 11 hospitals.”  

As well as the launch, there’s more potentially good news on the horizon for the charity. The National Lottery Awards have shortlisted the charity as one of the potential recipients of a £2000 grant as part of the televised “ Nation’s Favourite Lottery Funded Projects.”

The project, which was called “Music Matters” will rely on viewers voting for their favourite project and any award will be used to help new ‘Music in Hospitals’ projects throughout the UK.

You can vote until 29 July at or phone 0844 836 9702

Music In Hospitals are also working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society to support the Dementia-Friendly Communities programme by providing concerts within communities. Many of the venues will be at the dementia-friendly cafes which are used for people living at home with dementia that are at risk of becoming extremely isolated.

Music in Hospitals has benefited from a number of donations including The Newby Trust £10K for older people, Boshier Hinton Foundation £3960 for visually impaired people, Roland Cookson Trust Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear, Northumberland £4,200 – for children, Tees Valley Foundation (Stockton Borough Community Grants) £900 – for care homes in Stockton, Hadrian Trust £1960 for care homes in Northumberland, Sherburn House Charity £3000 and Cranfield Trust (in kind valued at £5K)