In conjunction with Music in Hospitals, the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital has been hosting a wonderful initiative called the Lullaby Hour project. This is a nationwide project and the aim is to produce live music concerts for very ill children and babies, to relax and help them settle at night time. We were so pleased to have the opportunity to take part in their pilot and children on the wards have been listening to monthly lullaby hour concerts from singers and musicians. The content of the sessions is tailored to the needs of the Children and personalised where possible to include their names. The positive response from both the children and their families has been amazing. Feedback from parents and staff has shown that children who have previously been unsettled, soon relax with the music and singing, as well as staff reporting that they felt more relaxed leaving the ward.
Feedback from participants
“Ella and Zoriah are two small girls aged 2 who are currently on the ICU waiting for heart transplants. They are both interbated so cannot speak, and fluctuate in how well they feel and therefore how much they engage with me when I play for them but each week they have both clearly really enjoyed the singing. I stand between their beds and sing for them both at the same time. Zoriah is transfixed, watching me, and when she feels well enough to move she will clap or move her body to the music. When I insert her name into the song she will register this and look at her Mum. Ella was very poorly the first 2 weeks I played, but the nurses said her heart rate would go down as I performed and up again when I stopped. She gives me a lot of eye contact and pulls lovely faces of surprise or pleasure when I insert a mention of her name or her Mum into a song. This week she was feeling a bit better and sat up, moving her arms to the music and pointing and blowing kisses to me.”
– MIHC Musician (Claire Tustin)
“Charlie is now thriving since he received his new heart in Feb of this year. I know that the lullaby team were a beautiful and welcome distraction to the sounds and strange noises coming from the machinery on the wards, and helped with his recovery. Everyone the lullaby team sang to took great comfort and a sense of peace. Just seeing Charlie’s riveted little face when they sang to him was wonderful to see in what was some of his darkest hours.”
– Anonymous Parent
“One of our children (age 2) has complex needs was having rehab therapy, and benefitted greatly. She appeared engaged and interested in the musician. She also made more of an effort to use her hands for the ‘Sing and Sign’.”
– Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales, Cardiff
“My little girl loved it. She was signing and laughing to everything [the musicians] were doing. I thought it was a really good idea – the faces of the children lit up the room, they were so happy.”
– Parent at Pelican Children’s Ward, Heath Hospital Cardiff
The positive feedback received from this project has resulted in us commissioning further Lullaby Sessions as part of the UHB’s Arts for Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Knowing that it has brought so much joy to some of our more vulnerable patients is immeasurable and we look forward to the continued partnership with Music in Hospitals and the Arts team in ensuring the sessions continue to bring joy to the children and their families at often the most stressful times.