Transforming Communities

Minds Matter- Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

A harpist and other musician in a hospital room with a toddler playing on a ukulele
Cardiac patient with musicians Sarah and Elfair Photography Paul McCann

In May 2022 we launched our latest partnership project with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital – Minds Matter – funded by Youth Music thanks to the National Lottery via Arts Council England.  This three-year programme uses music to support children and young people’s mental health, focusing on long-term inpatients, and young people accessing the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Nine Live Music Now musicians have been delivering bespoke, creative music sessions for individual patients struggling with their mental wellbeing.  The aim is to improve confidence and emotional resilience, as well as improving young people’s musical skills. We’ve seen significant benefits so far, with 95% of under 11s saying that the programme had helped them to relax and 86% of over 12s saying that their mood had significantly improved.

“I really enjoyed it and it made me happy and feel more positive. It gave me a good vibe for the rest of the day,” Patient with an eating disorder aged 13 years
“It made me think of relaxing music and it took my mind off everything. Hedi (the musician) was very nice to talk to and was a friendly teacher.  I’m glad of something to take my mind off what is going on,” Oncology patient aged 12 years

As part of this programme, Live Music Now alumna Georgina Aasgaard is creating an online training resource to support other musicians who work with children and young people with mental health conditions.

Eight musicians of the Minds Matter Musicians team at Alder Hey
Minds Matter at Alder Hey – musician team: L-R: Georgina Aasgaard (Lead Musician), Sarah Austen, Hedi Pinkerfeld, Esme Bridie, Elfair Dyer, Pip Bryan, Ben Gorb, Vicky Charnock (Alder Hey, Arts for Heath Project Manager)