Working on the Wards

Working on the Wards

Georgina has been Musician in residence at Alder Hey’s children hospital since 2006.

For the past 4 years, she has been leading the expansion of musical activities in the hospital thanks to a partnership that was created between Live Music Now and Alder Hey.

She has been leading a mentoring program which gave the opportunity to 8 young professional musicians to develop skills and experience in working in the hospital.

She has in recent years, specialised in working with long term patients on the oncology and critical care wards, thanks to the People’s project and the Wallace and Grommit foundation support.

Over the years, she has collaborated with other Artists in residence such as Twin Vision(animation), Small Things(dance), John Hughes(story telling).

She has more recently been involved with the Score project, focusing on working with young patients with asthma.

Small Things

Small Things

Funded by BBC Children in Need, this series is in collaboration with the Dance Improvisation company Small things.

The improvised performances take place biannually.  In June 2018 our first improvised tour took place on Renal Dialysis, 1C Cardiac, 3A surgical and 4B Neuromedical. 

Feedback from a parent of long term patient, “It was lovely, you all gave us the chance once more to enjoy moments with our daughter. Having been in this building for a long time you help us to remember that it’s possible to smile, play and share with everyone our feelings. And this is possible because of all of you! Gracias!”

Staff feedback, “Fabulous! My patient really enjoyed it, her heart rate decreased whilst the dancers performed to music.”

“Very moving, lovely dancing. My daughter was in a trance!”

“The music and dance turned a hospital visit into a really happy time. We all enjoyed it-a great experience!”



Project for patients with asthma

 Georgina led the music sessions for the Score project at Alder Hey’s children Hospital which took place in 2018-2019.


Set goals, Commit, Optimise asthma control, Reinforce an active lifestyle, Enable to achieve.

A project for children with asthma aged 6-16 years.

An innovative one year project which gave the children a chance to improve their asthma control through fun activities and get rewarded for their engagement. The children had access to a highly specialised multi-disciplinary Alder Hey team comprising of a consultant, physiotherapist, pharmacist, psychologist, nurse and therapy assistant. The sports coaches were trained to recognise and manage asthma symptoms early.

The project aimed to reduce asthma attacks, improve general fitness and empower children and families to have control of their asthma management

Alder Hey offered children fun and free after school activities in a range of venues across Liverpool including West Derby, Toxteth, Walton, Anfield, Kirkby and Wavertree. The more activities attended the more rewards the children received. Weekends and holiday activity camps were also available. The children could also bring a friend or sibling to the activities.

Activities included:






Learning an instrument



Rewards included:

Free days out such as Alton Towers, Knowsley safari park,

Free events such as climbing walls, football zorbing, bowling and cinema.

Alder Hey collaborated with Liverpool FC Foundation, yoga Little Yogis Yoga, ComMutual, FireFit, Merseyside dance initiative and music therapy.

The project was funded by the Health Foundation.

Quotes from patients:


“It’s a very good place to go”


“I’d give it a 10/10”


“you make friends”


“it’s very fun to go there”


Song written by the participants in the Music session



Mentoring at Alder Hey in partnership with Live Music Now


Live Music Now has formed a new partnership with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool to deliver a year-long musical mentoring programme for patients. Funded by Youth Music, the programme will include a unique training opportunity for four LMN musicians to learn about residency work in healthcare settings.  They will work closely with healthcare professionals to develop interactive music sessions for patients in four specific areas of the hospital, supported by Alder Hey’s resident musician and LMN Alumna, Georgina Aasgaard. The programme will be evaluated by music and health researcher/practitioner (and LMN alumna) Ros Hawley and takes LMN’s work in children’s hospitals to a new level.

Alder Hey is one of the largest children’s hospitals in Europe, treating over 270,000 patients each year. It is a centre of excellence for the treatment of cancer, spinal, heart and brain conditions. In September 2015 the hospital will move into Alder Hey in the Park, a brand new purpose built hospital built entirely within a park, the first of its kind in Europe.

Alder Hey’s highly regarded Arts for Health programme has been established for over a decade, and has been at the forefront of pioneering innovative approaches to using the arts in paediatric healthcare. This includes a very successful music programme delivered by their resident musician and cellist Georgina Aasgaard. The hospital identified a need to increase the music provision for patients within their Arts for Health programme and has developed a new Musical Mentoring programme in partnership with Live Music Now.

Research demonstrates the benefits that music-making can offer to children in hospitals.  The recent report “The Power of Music” by Susan Hallam summarises research from around the world: “Children and young people benefit (from music intervention) in terms of enhanced relaxation, providing distraction, and helping them to talk about the hospital experience and develop coping strategies. Familiar music can reduce anxiety associated with the hospital environment and can reduce childrens stress during painful procedures. In some cases music making can reduce or remove the need for sedation.”

In Partnership with Live Music Now

In Partnership with Live Music Now

LMN interview


LMN musicians at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Tuesday 26th May 2015 6:45PM


LMN musicians are currently working on a demanding and ambitious year-long residency project at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (Liverpool). They are being mentored by experienced LMN alumna Georgina Aasgaard. She met up recently with LMN Strategic Director Karen Irwin to talk about her time with LMN and how this has shaped her career.

Can you tell us more about your role at Alder Hey?

I work in the hospital’s flagship Arts Programme one day a week, interacting with patients, staff and families across the hospital.  As Musician in Residence, I’m one of the few non-medical staff on wards and I get to focus on the children’s wellbeing rather than their illness.   I’m not a music therapist, but I believe the music-making we deliver on the wards can be highly therapeutic and help to transform the atmosphere on the wards. For example, this afternoon we had a session where patients and family gathered for over an hour around a little boy to make music.

There is a great demand for music throughout the hospital, so it’s exciting that Vicky Charnock, the hospital’s arts co-ordinator, has been able to develop this new partnership with LMN to deliver more music.  We’ve recruited four fantastic LMN musicians – Bea, Katie, Delia and Jess – and although it’s been only 4 weeks into the project I’m really enjoying working with them and delighted at how well it’s going so far.   It’s great to be able to share my knowledge and provide them with the specialist training and support that I didn’t have when I first started.

What can you remember about your LMN work?

It was a real eye opener because it was the first time I experienced first hand how music can affect people in such a powerful way.  I vividly remember my first concert in a special needs school – one child had such a strong reaction to the music that he had to be taken out of the hall.  My life as a music student was pressurized with constant practice and stressful exams.  But the LMN work helped me to blossom as a performer and became a highlight of my week.

I had my first proper touring experience with LMN, staying in B&Bs across Yorkshire and playing in residential homes for older people. At that stage I was auditioning for orchestras, so it was incredibly refreshing to perform in a duo, and be so valued and welcome everywhere we went!

I really treasured my time with LMN: when you are trying to make it as a professional musician, LMN performances provide invaluable experience and bring such joy and pleasure to people. I’m so excited to be able to give something back to the organisation, this time as a mentor and trainer.

Tell us about your other current work.

Where to start! My work is hugely varied and that is what I really enjoy. I freelance with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO); I’m Lead Musician for the Orchestra’s Mersey Care project working in psychiatric wards for patients with mental health problems; and for many years I’ve been Musician in Residence at Alder Hey Hospital. More recently I’ve led music projects for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, DaDa Fest and Knowsley Council working with adults with learning disabilities.  And I also enjoy performing chamber music.  It’s an ongoing challenge to balance my performance work with time to practice and project work.

Finally, what do you love about your project work and what advice would you give to other musicians wanting to develop this part of their career?

I love meeting people and have a natural curiosity about different styles of music,  so I really enjoy musical collaborations in my project work. I think it’s important to be open minded and non-judgemental so that you can understand where people are coming from and create a meaningful connection.  I aim to take the lead from the staff in whatever venue I’m working in and use my tool box of tricks at the service of whomever I’m working with … It’s an ongoing adventure and that’s what makes it exciting for me!