"Ros and Mark are two of the most insightful, compassionate and responsive musicians I have ever met working with children in hospital settings. Their work inspires and empowers children at a time when not much else does and their families see significant leaps forward in their child’s responses, engagement and hope for recovery. This work is amongst the most valuable I have experienced in the journey to children’s healing and well-being, and I can’t recommend it highly enough." - Ruth Churchill Dower, Director, EarlyArts
Songbirds is a music-making project run by LIME Music for Health at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. It is funded by Youth Music and part of the programme Medical Notes: Music at the Heart of Life. The programme aims to improve the hospital environment for families and staff and help children communicate through music. In this clinical setting, music helps children develop their personalities, grow stronger and recover.
In July 2016, Songbirds begun a new project at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. This project will develop and aim to work in the hospital High Dependency Unit, and will be working hard to get to know staff and share the music with them as a support to the rehabilitation and transition of children and families in their care.
Ros and Mark developed, composed and deliver the Songbirds project which has already worked with many children and impacted many lives.
Songbirds -Ward 83, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital
From 2014-16 the first Songbirds project on Ward 83 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital worked with early years children with long term ventilation needs and those functioning at an early years level due to acquired brain injury.
“Songbirds has had a huge impact on our family. It helps us to connect each other. We have all joined in music making with Mark and Ros. The mood changes when they arrive and I know they have had a big impact on other families too.” - Parent
A Songbirds Tale
Listen to some of the music created, inspired by the children participating in the project, and the radio play A Songbirds Tale.
This is Lydia, one of the patients Ros and Mark worked with. Lydia's story was selected by Youth Music as a case study, you can read it HERE and discover what Songbirds meant for her and her family.
Songbirds Webinar for Early Arts Members
If you are an Early Arts member, you can access a webinar all about Songbirds HERE
"In a time when technology seems to be a controlling factor of everyday life, music remains a constant utterance that has long lasting effect with everyone (one way or another)
Songbirds for me focused on what really affects the individual.It might be: the setting, the visual aspect, the tone, the speed, the volume or the vibration, the total interaction.
The way it can make a difference with each of the patients (even family and staff) whether it be mood, temperament, blood pressure, breathing or simply a smile, a sound, a tap of a foot, a drum of their fingers or a use of an instrument. It’s given me a deeper understanding and a useful tool to use in my own work. It has enhanced the lives of all participants consciously or sub consciously. The question now is ‘how powerful can music be in life and what are the REAL benefits for those who FEEL it?’ " - John Smith, Therapeutic Play Specialist, Ward 83 The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital