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.”