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Let there be music!

03 May 2022 10:22:59
Brightside Music pic

Poorly youngsters are hitting the high notes at Rotherham Hospital thanks to a new partnership with musical duo Brightside Music.
Brightside’s Becky Eden-Green and Aisling Holmes filled the Children’s Ward and Children’s Outpatients with an array of music box sounds and songs for the first time on 20 April, thanks to funding from the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s Dr Ted’s children’s appeal. 

Brooke Inman, 10, from Brinsworth, was one of the first youngsters to benefit from the therapeutic sessions, which encourage children to sing and play along or to simply listen and take comfort from the sounds. Brooke was able to relax before a lumbar puncture – a procedure to remove fluid from the base of her spine.

Brooke’s mum Samantha said: “Brooke was feeling really nervous today so the musicians have really helped her to relax. She is very musical anyway so being able to play along and to listen to the songs is comforting for her. It’s really relaxing and a great way to spend the money people have donated to the charity’s children’s appeal.”

Owen Jenkinson, 13, of Whiston, also joined in with the musical session as Becky and Aisling sang Beatles classic Yellow Submarine, Where The Lion Sleeps Tonight and A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman.

“It was really unexpected but I enjoyed myself. It really livened up my visit and was something fun to do. I think younger children would really like the music box too,” he said.

Owen’s mum Andrea added: “It’s so nice to see the kids interact with each other and do something which might be out of their comfort zone. It’s a really fun activity and helps get the teenagers off their phones! It puts a smile on their faces, which is lovely for parents to see too.”

Brightside Music say that music in healthcare settings can:

- Offer a distraction from the routines and procedures of daily hospital life.
- Offer comfort at difficult times
- Help to reduce the effects of trauma and facilitate coping strategies
- Promote self-expression, individuality and creativity
- Be empowering – allowing children and young people to decide how they participate
- Also have a positive impact on parents, siblings and healthcare staff.

Becky Eden-Green, a professional clarinettist, saxophonist, ukulele player and singer, has also worked with Aisling at hospitals in Sheffield, Leeds and York. She said: “The children and young people we play to in hospital are sadly missing out on their usual arts clubs and activities in school and at home so we like to provide a positive experience for them when they really need it the most.

“It’s so nice to be back singing and playing to children in person after the pandemic and to see the effect our music has. We love to see youngsters engage with us and each other, to get out of bed, move more and play with the xylophones, maracas and drums in our music box.”

The charity has provided £2,520 funding for Brightside Music to visit the Children’s Ward and Children’s Outpatients twice a month for the next six months. The charity hopes to secure funding to extend the visits in future. 

Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said: “Thanks to the generous donations we receive from the public, the charity is able to fund amazing partnerships like this with Brightside Music. We’re so grateful. 

“Seeing the faces of the children we care for light up as they sing and play along, is really wonderful. Brightside’s gentle, relaxing and therapeutic music creates such a lovely atmosphere, which we hope helps youngsters to feel better and more positive about their health and wellbeing.”