During March 2022, Ealing Music Service initiated and led a brand new pilot project, Music 4 Health, in collaboration with Richmond Music Trust and the CW+ Arts Team and hospital school at West Middlesex University Hospital Paediatrics Unit. The project consisted of four weekly 2-hour sessions, focussing on enabling patients to have a positive experience creating their own music, whilst aligning with the wider aims of CW+ and the hospital school in supporting patient wellbeing during their time in hospital. The first two sessions were facilitated by EMS Music Technology Lead, Ross Kenning, followed by two sessions RMT Music Therapist/Singer-Songwriter, Wim Koevoets. Twelve children and young people between the ages of 2 and 15 participated in one-to-one bedside music sessions, taking place on the Starlight Ward and Sunshine Day Unit. Through feedback, the young people told us that they found the project to be a positive experience, with many saying that the sessions took their mind off being in hospital, and that they were more interested in creating their own music as a direct result of the project.

Ealing Music Service, Richmond Music Trust, and the teams at West Middlesex University Hospital are delighted with the outcomes of the pilot project. We are currently exploring ways to expand and establish the project on a more long-term basis, including setting up licenses to provide young people on the ward with unlimited access to the ‘VIP Studio’ package on hospital iPads during their stay, which were kindly donated by Charanga to support the pilot project. We are grateful to all the partner organisations and individuals involved in the Music 4 Health project, and to Hannah Fouracre (Director of Music Education, Arts Council) and Music Teacher magazine for their continued interest in its development.

Nicola Tagoe, Access & Inclusion Development Leader (Ealing Music Service)