I really enjoyed the rewarding nature of working as a musician in the hospital. Every session was new and I would come away feeling a sense of pride, hoping that I made any bit of difference to the children or parents that I’d seen that day. Music is such a powerful tool that can both bring out different emotions in people but also completely takes you out of the world for a small amount of time. This is why I love music so much, it stops the busy ‘chattering’ in my mind and allows me to feel instantly calm. Nothing else matters at that moment.

All of the children I saw at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital were very young so it was sometimes hard to tell if the music made a difference to them, but then on occasions, the children were dancing and playing instruments with us with a smile on their faces, uplifted by the music. These were such lovely moments to experience! The parents were so grateful, saying things like “Thank you so much! He’s loving it!” and would dance with them with big smiles across the child and parents’ faces. It was lovely seeing the staff smile and dance along as we passed through the corridors, playing nursery rhymes and songs that they knew.

I  met little children with so much medical equipment (oxygen masks, wires, etc), which was sad to see, and a couple of times babies were desperately trying to take all of the equipment off. We tried our best to comfort and distract the babies and parents in a situation like this with music. I was shocked to see this because I had never been to a hospital and seen this level of equipment before, but I soon adjusted. By the second session, I felt completely comfortable and Marina (my mentor) and I spoke about everything we’d experienced after each session which was really useful.

Seeing the sadness and worry of the parents in the ward, I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to be them. It really put things into perspective and made me want to make an impact in any way possible. Sharing music with the children and families was my way to do that.