The Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity have been doing a campaign called “Heart of the Hospital” where they share all the good things that are going on in the hospital. We’re so busy when we’re in the wards with doing music and having fun that sometimes we forget to reflect on what we’re doing and the impact it has. They spoke to Rhys about what he’s been doing:
ECHC: We know that people are the true Heart of the Hospital.
We have been working with Tinderbox which is a diverse collective of young people, musicians, artists, youth workers and volunteers.
Rhys is a musician who hosts sessions each week at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh, you may have seen him around the wards with his guitar and many other instruments!
These fun workshops involve singing, song-writing, learning instruments, and creating fun and enjoyable experiences for children with different conditions and needs.
Rhys said: “Music has this inherent super power where it can bring people together and create a mood. The noise of the hospital can be overwhelming so it has been amazing to see how we can use music to help create a fun, comfortable space and make a difference to a patient’s visit.
“Each session is very different: sometimes it’s with large groups in the playroom, sometimes it’s bedside jam sessions and songwriting, or a baby’s first lullaby, and sometimes it’s background music whilst kids are waking up or settling down.”
“It’s always lovely to see the young people getting involved with singing and playing music and I’m constantly inspired by how brave and strong all of the children are in the hospital!”
Your generous donations help to fund activities like music at the hospital and ensure children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness.
To donate, visit: https://bit.ly/3bsACgr
The sessions at Sick Kids Hospital range from singalongs and jamming on the percussion to songwriting and bedside performances. This week Hailey wrote a song in 15 minutes with 2 young girls about things they liked!
Here are the lyrics to their song “Watch Me”:
I like candy
I like kiwi
I like dancing
You should see me
Out in the forest
trees all around us
A unicorn before us
Dancing in the leaves
I jumped on the unicorn
Spinning all around
Up up in the clouds
Sunset all around
“After each music session at The Sick Kids Hospital, I offer the children and young people the chance to draw on my guitar. Quite often they will draw something relating to what we have been singing about, so the guitar tells the story of all the songs we have written and sung. Everything from exotic holidays to rainbow unicorns and tigers adorn the instrument. It is a journey into the imaginative worlds of the children and young people who have visited the hospital.
Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity recently invited me to paint an Oor Wullie, for part of The Bucket Trail, and I decided to reproduce as many of the children’s drawing as possible onto his dungarees, so he can tell the stories to other children who see him, and share the adventures we have had.
My guitar is so full of drawings now that there is no space left. It’s time to paint it white and start again. And by passing all the drawings on to Oor Wullie, it means they will not be lost!
Oor Wullie will be revealed soon… watch this space for updates on his new multi coloured dungarees!
For now, here is a pic of the awesome hospital guitar!” – Hailey, Tinderbox Artist.
We’ve recently revamped our box of amazing instruments and percussion for our music sessions at The Sick Kids Hospital. So far they are going down a storm, and the Boom Whackers (colourful tubes of plastic that make a note when hit against something) are understandably very popular!
Sometimes visiting Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services can be quite a quiet workshop. A lot depends on who is on the ward and how people are feeling. However last week was a pretty loud and creative songwriting session for a number of reasons.
As I arrived there was a guy playing guitar, someone else on the computer and someone writing at a desk. As I set up it turned out that the person playing guitar was up for doing some music with me. Also the person on the computer is really into computer based music and brought over some equipment he had been using. Once we had a bit of a jam going the guy who had been writing came over to join. It turns out that we was writing some poetry.
Quite quickly, with his blessing, we started working on putting his poetry to music. Everyone participated in their own way including another patient who was providing us with rhythm.
By the end of the session we were performing a brilliant song that had been written in collaboration with 4 patients in the unit who were all continuing to do what they had being doing separately, but joined together for the purpose of writing a song.
At the end of it there was much enthusiasm and the whole place felt quite vibrant.
Sometimes it all comes together!
“For the past few Tuesdays I’ve been going into Edinburgh Sick Children’s Hospital to hold music sessions in the various wards. This Tuesday, for eg. I found myself sat in a tiny chair at a tiny table with four kids all playing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ on drums, bells and mini xylophones while they all waited to go in for their various surgeries. 10 mins later i was playing Bruno mars in the Planned Investigation Unit with a beautiful singer of 15. The Sick Kid’s hospital is the perfect place for musical respite from the struggles of coping with illness – The kids are always up for a bit of a tune!”
– Mike Kearney, Tutor / Musician
This week marks the beginning of a whole year of work with Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity at the Sick Kids hospital.
We’ll be visiting 3 times a week to share the good vibes.
This is building on the work we have already begin doing with ECHC at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Check out their Facebook page to see us in action:
‘ECHC’s Arts Programme began a new project at the RHSC today, collaborating with the wonderful Tinderbox Collective. Tinderbox musicians deliver sessions that aim to engage children and young people’s musical side to create something new – check out this fab song written by 9-year-old Ryan in ward 4.
Tinderbox Collective has also been working with patients in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service at the Western General since last September, encouraging young people to express themselves through drumming, DJ-ing and songwriting. In #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek it’s a great opportunity to highlight the positive impact that music and creativity can have on the mental health of children and young people.’