Sessions are held either in playrooms off the wards, or at the bedsides of children. This therapy is driven by the interests and needs of the children. In special circumstances, we also carry out some work on intensive care wards as appropriate.
The music therapy involves live, interactive and developmentally appropriate music-making with the child (and family) aimed at facilitating expression of feelings, reducing distress and promoting well-being.
For older children and teenagers the service keeps pace with the rapidly evolving way that music is developed and listened to across a range of devices. As part of this work we encourage and support the writing of music and recording of music with seriously ill teenagers, and use iPads and tablet devices to encourage creativity.
Lullabies often help infants to sleep or they comfort children who are not feeling well enough to participate more actively. Playing and/or singing together is useful in distracting the young children during certain medical procedures.
Feedback from parents and staff is overwhelmingly positive and indicates the value of this support:
`I cried of happiness seeing her so happy and enjoying herself and communicating through music. Thank you, thank you’ --C, mum to a young daughter.
'It was like seeing a different child—his eyes lit up and I could see my beautiful boy underneath the sickness. Thank you so much!'--mum to a young son.
Rosie’s Rainbow Fund has a team of music therapists working at The John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. Our music therapists conduct group and individual music sessions with children and young people, transporting them away from the fear and boredom of hospital stays and procedures.