Music speaks to people in so many ways and in such a variety of different forms. It can spark memories or moments in time, and often the lyrics of a song seem like they have been written just for you.
A song has the ability to make you feel different things – sad, happy, excited – or you feel something that you just have to move your body along to. Here at Charlie House we have been bringing the therapeutic benefits of music to the families we work alongside, thanks to the support of Music in Hospitals & Care.
The team at Music in Hospitals & Care are very kindly delivering virtual music sessions, free of charge, so these families can enjoy the experience of live music from the comfort of their own home. Leigh Ryrie, our Children & Family Support Manager here at Charlie House, explains why these sessions are so important for families: “Music can be an incredible escape for adults and children alike, especially at a time when many of the families we support are isolating and are unable to leave their homes.
“By delivering these sessions virtually we are creating an experience that is fully accessible for all families. If a child requires to be tube fed or given medication at a set time, or if they are more comfortable or relaxed in their bed, they can still take part and they are very much encouraged to do what works for each family member.
“Music in Hospitals & Care is a very positive experience for the children we support. Some children may relate to or recognise a particular song and can use a musical instrument or prop to express themselves in a way that best suits them. It is a wonderful sound and a relaxing visual experience, as well as a chance to virtually catch-up with their friends.
“Although virtual, a session from Amy from Music in Hospitals & Care, with just her music and voice is always a firm family favourite. Amy takes time with every family, encouraging everyone to choose favourite songs or genres that she will sing so families can sing, play along with, dance along, or just relax and enjoy. Amy has taken a whole variety of different requests including everything from nursery rhymes to David Bowie, S Club and The Proclaimers.”
Every year the professional musicians working with Music in Hospitals & Care share live music with over 100,000 people from across the UK who may not otherwise get to experience it. A spokesperson for the charity says, “We believe live music needs to be part of everyone’s health and social care because research shows that live music heals. It helps people feel relaxed and confident, and can relieve frustration, stress and isolation.
“Music can also reduce the perception of pain. It brings back memories and helps create new ones. When you move your body to music – even just tapping a finger – it’s natural physiotherapy. Unlocking these emotions supports people’s wellbeing.”
You can find out more about how we support babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions, and their families, across the North-east by clicking here.