In February 2010 Vital Arts and Spitalfields Music worked together to bring live music to families and new born babies on the maternity ward at the Royal London Hospital. The musicians performed and taught a selection of lullabies from around the world. With the help of willing families they also wrote simple songs in Arabic, Bengali, Somali and English.
The following are the second lot of excerpts from the diary that was kept during our visits:
Everyone is much more relaxed today and there is a wonderful welcome from staff following Wednesday’s session.
On arrival we received some feedback: One of the babies, from transitional care was having trouble feeding and that evening, following our first session, he was well enough to go home. The Baby Care Specialist, believed this to be directly linked to the singing.
At the start of the session there seemed to be less participation with many of the curtains closed. We found out later that this was due to mothers sleeping or feeding their babies in privacy. Something we are fast learning about working in hospital is being flexible and taking each session as it comes. However, the fathers were very engaged with their feet tapping and babes in arms. A baby started crying but stopped quickly as we started a lullaby– was it the music?
On the way to the second room we met a father from a Russian family in the first session who shook John’s hand and said how much he had loved the music and looked forward to seeing us again. This was such a lovely way to go into our next session and filled the artists full of pride!