Music is widely reported to reduce stress and anxiety and promote wellbeing. Some studies have even shown that soothing music can have a positive effect on breathing and heart rate.

Royal Brompton and Harefield Arts have long known how music and the participation in musical activities can take care of patients’ needs for entertainment and connection, and also contribute to healing.

In 2021, the Arts Team applied for a grant from the Patients’ Fund to extend their programme to include live music performances for patients. They enlisted Live Music Now to help.

Live Music Now is an organisation that recognises the transformative power of live music. They have a roster of 250 professional musicians who perform in places where access to music is limited.

Since June 2022, patients have enjoyed traditional folk tunes on a fiddle, one musician has played the theorbo and lute, a hand pan player and a harp player have soothed patients with lullabies and a kora player brought a touch of West Africa to Kensington.

One nurse said: “This is so important; patients get so bored here and they need this to cheer them up and lift their spirits.” Patients loved listening to the relaxing tones and asking questions about these beautiful historical instruments, one commenting that the performance “made me forget I’m unwell.” Conni Rosewarne from rb&hArts said:

Patients and their families have loved having such high-quality musical experiences during their stay. It is clear how the intrigue of different instruments can capture curiosity and take people away from their difficult settings for a while, sparking joyful conversations with others. The soothing effect of live music cannot be underestimated. It’s been wonderful to be able to offer such a varied service for our patients and staff.

To support projects that make a big difference to a patient’s visit to the hospitals, like a programme of live music performances, then donate to our Patients’ Fund.

Donate to the Patients' Fund