Our stories

People are at the heart of what we do. Discover some of our stories from across the UK to find out more about how people in health and care are benefitting from live music experiences.

Bankhall Court - Rights Made Real

Rights Made Real is a project that focuses on improving quality of life in care homes and supporting staff to embed human rights into their everyday practice.

“You see people, who might at other times be agitated or concerned, becoming joyful. If a staff member can sit next to somebody and have a great sing song with them, it levels the playing field a bit and we begin to see each other just as people again.”

Keshia's story

Keshia looks after her four children, two of which have additional needs. She started coming to Lifted Carers Centre in Wythenshawe just a few weeks ago and has been back almost every day since. One of the first activities she took part in with the group was a Music in Hospitals & Care live music experience.

It uplifted my emotions and put a smile on my face.

Edelle McMahon reflects on the #MusicEveryDay online programme

Singer and guitarist Edelle McMahon has been working with Music in Hospitals & Care in Northern Ireland since 2018. Edelle reflects on the #MusicEveryDay online programme as the weekly live streams draw to a close.

Live streams helped people to feel less isolated

Eden Ward story

Singer and guitarist Charlie Gorman joined Music in Hospitals & Care in 2013 and has performed regularly at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for the past eight years.

It's a light in the week to work towards.

Sharing live music with The Friendship Cabin

“We’re not just listening to the radio or a recording, it’s live music. Somebody’s actually there singing the song and you can get up and sing along with them.” says Claire, a volunteer at The Friendship Cabin, an activity group for adults of all abilities based in Glenrothes, Fife. “When I first started here my confidence was way down, but now I’m up dancing all the time with the members and I really enjoy it.”

“Music just seems to lighten things. You’re that busy singing and dancing you don’t think about anything else. You’re living for the now. It’s great.”

Tommy's story

Tommy is one of almost 40 residents living at The Broughtons in Salford. Like all care homes, The Broughtons had an incredibly tough time throughout multiple lockdowns, and residents missed the interaction of Music in Hospitals & Care musicians such as A4 Brass Quartet, who have returned to the home after 18 months without live music in person.

The music brought back memories because I used to go to parks with my dad to watch brass bands. He used to play when he was in the army.

Mike's story

“It’s quiet when you’ve got dementia,” says Mike Brookes, who has been living with vascular dementia for 10 years. In lockdown, life has been particularly isolating for Mike, who is a RAF veteran, and his wife Liz.

“It’s been devastating, lonely and terrifying” says Liz, who lives with Mike in Rochdale. “Normally, we are very busy with lots of activities but they just stopped dead in the pandemic. The impact on Mike was really negative. And it was hard for him to engage with things online.

“We’ve really missed live music, which transformed Mike.”

“Live music should be on prescription for people living with dementia”

Marilyn's story

Looking across at his wife Marilyn, Chris Mercer sees her smile. They’re sharing a Music in Hospitals & Care live music experience at Holy Cross Hospital in Surrey, where Marilyn lives at the moment, and Chris used to visit every single day.

“Marilyn had an accident which left her with brain damage and she has relatively low awareness and is often asleep,” says Chris. “But when there’s good live music going on, she reacts to it. She is more awake and it makes a big difference to her wellbeing.”

Alan's story

Alan takes part in Movement to Music, a group that supports people who have had a stroke by helping to improve their mood and mobility. It’s led by Anwen at Rubicon Dance in Wales, who we partner with to share live music in care homes and day centres. Donna, Stroke Communications Support Coordinator at The Stroke Association Wales, supports Alan. On a video call, we spoke to Alan, Anwen and Donna about the group moving online.

The live music was really uplifting and engaging. It was so nice to see everybody smiling and joining in. People have said that they are going to continue to come every week.

David's story

David is 15 and has cerebral palsy. He loves music and has taken part in some of our #MusicEveryDay online live music through Robin House, which is run by the charity Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS). We spoke to David’s mum Evelyn and CHAS Activities Facilitator Alison on a video call.

It’s just a fantastic way for David to engage with something that he loves. I see the benefit it has for David and I would hate to think there's anyone out there who can't access it. It would be such a shame.

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