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Summer lunchtime in the main lobby of Our Lady’s Children's Hospital, Crumlin and ‘Cellissimo’, a quartet of cellists, is playing “Here Comes The Sun”. Their audience includes babies, toddlers and older children along with their families and hospital staff.  Passing faces light up in surprise and there are smiles of recognition at the Beatles classic.  Families on the way to a clinic stop for a listen and from the nearby Burns Unit and Transitional Care Unit patients are brought out by staff to hear this unusual concert.

For Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, June 2012 was music month: a feast of concerts and recitals performed by visiting musicians during the Classically Inspired Music Residency programme.  Kids’ Classics, the brainchild of cellist Gráinne Hope, is in its fifth year of bringing classical music to Our Lady’s.  Each month, Kids’ Classics musicians play at the patients’ bedsides and in the wards as well as giving an hour long workshop on topics such as ‘Beethoven’s Bad Hair Day’ and ‘Tchaikovsky’s Christmas Party’ in the Hospital Schoolroom.  Supported by The National Concert Hall and The Community Foundation for Ireland as well as the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation, the scheme has proved to be a resounding success with both patients and staff.

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing Geraldine Regan described the Music Residency programme as “truly wonderful. Even for very young babies, having access to music is therapeutic and relaxing.  Through their music the Kids Classics musicians bring patients and families into a calmer world, temporarily away from the stress of tests and treatments.”

A collaboration with the French Organisation Musique et Santé enabled Gráinne, Kids’ Classics Programme Director, to take her work onto a new level this year.  The idea is to bring music into a variety of healthcare settings and to train musicians in how to adapt to the particular circumstances of playing music in a hospital.  To date 6 musicians have been trained on the Music Residency scheme and the June concerts have added significantly to raising musical awareness within the hospital. 

Concerts in the hospital during June 2012 included the traditional group Meeting House, harpist sisters Teresa and Mary O’Donnell, Naoise Stuart Kelly with Songs and Stories, the Six String Amigos, Gael Winds Woodwind Quintet, and musician and healthcare drummer Dr Jane Bentley. The Classically Inspired Music Residency was kindly supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council.

ENDS

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