Transforming Communities

Royal Brompton Hospital Ward Music Series

Live Music Now musicians have been visiting patients and staff at Royal Brompton Hospital, London every week since June 2022. Royal Brompton is a specialist centre for the treatment of heart and lung disease.

Commissioned by rb&hArts, musicians work in several wards including the adult intensive care unit, paediatric wards and adult surgical wards. They are also able to visit isolating adults, many with Cystic Fibrosis, in private rooms.

The aim of the music series is to improve patient experience and enhance the wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff.

Musicians described the profound change in mood of many of the adult patients, who seemed visibly moved by the performance and expressed “a great deal of gratitude” for the music.

“Staff and relatives said that some patients who had been in bad moods had never seemed so lively and positive.” 
James Bramley plays the theorbo at Royal Brompton Hospital, Chelsea

Nurses described how the session engaged the patients with each other. The music created “a lot of open bay conversation with patients talking to each other, something you don’t often see.”

In paediatric wards, music was effective for calming down babies and engaging bored children. Dancing together and sharing their musical interests helped to create a sense of community and bonding between patients and parents.

Lise Vandersmissen – harp and Rudy Green – kora at Royal Brompton Hospital Chelsea

Staff visibly enjoyed the music and in the staff room, staff shared their own musical knowledge and learned new things about each other.

Musicians were also able to play in single rooms for patients, creating a vital lifeline between themselves and the rest of the hospital and helping to reduce isolation.

One patient described how the musician had made her day after her operation had been postponed and she had felt angry and depressed. She managed to dance to the music and explained that she appreciated the intimacy of seeing and hearing the musicians up close.

“This has changed my life having you here, thank you.” – Patient

Feedback from this programme demonstrates the valuable role that music can play in supporting patients in health-care settings – improving mood and significantly improving the experience of being in a hospital.

Conni Rosewarne, Arts and Youth Patient & Public Engagement, rb&hArts said:

“Patients and their families have loved having such high-quality musical experiences during their stay. It is clear how the intrigue of different instruments can capture curiosity and take people away from their difficult settings for a while, sparking joyful conversations with others. The soothing effect of live music cannot be underestimated. It’s been wonderful to be able to offer such a varied service for our patients and staff”.

rb&hArts runs an innovative arts programme at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and is funded by the hospitals’ charity. It is designed to improve the clinical environment, improve patient experience, and enhance wellbeing. Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals are part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.


Please contact us to discuss how Live Music Now can bring the sheer joy and medical benefits of live music into your hospital or healthcare setting.


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