Our team of “Wishing Well” musicians bring music-making right to the bedsides of children and young people in hospital, helping to create positive experiences at a really difficult time for families.
Making music together provides a way of expressing and releasing stress; a moment of fun that has nothing to do with illness or the frightening things that hospitalisation can involve. It’s a very normal thing in fact; playing musical games or singing lullabies with your baby but in the extraordinary world of the hospital, music-making takes on many extra layers of significance.
One of the many challenges for children who are in hospital for long periods of time is that most of the adults they meet are medical professionals who need to carry out uncomfortable, sometimes stressful procedures and interventions. The youngest child will quickly associate “someone is coming into my room” with “something uncomfortable is going to happen” It can put children in a state of stress. Having musicians on hospital wards, as part of the multi-disciplinary team that supports children, can work towards redressing this balance by creating fun, safe, child focused interactions that ask “what can you do?” rather than “what is wrong with you?
One of our Musician’s writes:
“We gently played music by the door to a little boy’s room. A passing Doctor commented “he’ll cry if you go in!” but Mum caught our eye and waved to us. We very gently approached the little boy, crouched down near to him and started singing nursery rhymes, looking for a response to show us which one he liked. He was withdrawn at first, suspicious of what we might do but the introduction of our brightly coloured percussion was too much for him to resist. As he explored the sounds of the different instruments, Mum suggested his favourite lullaby and for a while, we all sat, singing and playing together, all anxiety forgotten and the rest of the hospital, a million miles away.”