Still singing the songs and buzzing from our Lullabies experience last year, Rachel Louis from VitalArts invited Spitalfields Music to the maternity wards of the Royal London Hospital for a second time. Just hours after entering the world with our newest fan just 14 hours old at the time, our musicians Zoe Palmer, John Barber and Sonia Mehta were singing, learning and writing lullabies with newborns and their families. We were so welcomed and supported by the staff on the Mary Northcliffe ward and during one session, we even had some of the staff singing and dancing along to songs they recognised!
Click on the clips below to listen to some of the lullabies from the sessions.
We worked with 43 mothers & babies, 35 fathers, 4 grandfathers, 15 grandmothers and many more in just 2 ½ weeks. Our musicians talked to the parents, encouraging them that singing to your baby can reduce stress, crying and improve their sleeping and feeding. It doesn’t matter what, or how, you sing – the familiar sound of your voice has a naturally soothing effect and is something they always love to hear.
Through the success of Lullabies we will be continuing our work with VitalArts on the Grosvenor Ward in February. Musicians Zoe Palmer, Jack Ross and one of our trainees Penny Desbruslais will spend 5 weeks on the ward working with the babies, parents and play specialists. The project aims to provide a positive and soothing distraction from a stressful environment for babies in long-term care, and give parents and staff the confidence to use music as a therapeutic tool at the baby’s bedside on the ward and later, in the home.
“When musicians come onto the ward, there is an immediate, perceptible change in atmosphere – it becomes quieter, calmer and everyone seems at ease – and the effect lasts well after their departure.” – Christine Wood, Baby-friendly coordinator, Royal London Hospital
Programme Manager: Learning & Participation