A contemporary trip to the beach…

What a lovely weekend! I took a trip to Yorkshire on Saturday, first to Leeds to play Dream of Gerontius – which was a very dramatic performance! Thoroughly enjoyable! Then on Sunday I was in Scarborough with Dark Inventions. We played in the very atmospheric Rotunda building, which houses the museum of geology. It is based in the works of a Mr Smith, which was great for us as three members of the ensemble are Smiths! We are campaigning to rename ourselves The Smith Effect in response to a display we found at the museum, but so far the other members aren’t so interested…
Anyway, so we played in the gallery of this round building, with the audience below. They couldn’t see us (well, certainly not me, anyway, as I was sitting down), and we couldn’t see them, which made for a very interesting and atmospheric concert. We had some newish works from Mssrs. Leedham and Scheuregger, as well as a world premier of a work for flute, clarinet and vibraphone by Benjamin Gait. Mingled with this was a Telemann violin fantasy, and Bach cello gavottes, and the programme was centred around Durations 4 by Morgan Feldman, for cello, violin and vibraphone. The concert was recorded, but unfortunately the lift below joined in with a lot of the concert – it worked very well in the vibraphone piece but unfortunately not so well in the Gavottes as I was playing in D and the lift beeped on a D# and F#… So not sure how much of the concert will be on the website, but you can check out what else we’ve been up to and have a listen at: http://www.darkinventions.co.uk

Oh, and it was all topped off by a trip to the beach – chips and a visit to the 2p machines. Lost all my 2ps, oh well!

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Research: Music in Hospital Settings

I thought I’d post a little bit about the benefits of music to children in hospital today. I’m a music in healthcare mentor at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, as part of LIME, so this is something I’m passionate about. I was really lucky to have some initial training in this as part of my course at the RNCM, and then went on to train in this field at this hospital throughout 2011. We were fortunate in having a fantastic research team from the University of Salford, who followed us around the wards, observed carefully, and asked lots of questions to us and the people we were working with. The key findings from this first year were:

Music-making can contribute to the health and wellbeing of children and parents; that it can alleviate boredom, isolation and anxiety; that it can create shared positive experiences and help create powerful connections between all people involved within the hospital.

The report is very well written, and can even be understood by somebody not so sciencey, like me! Here’s a link: http://www.salford.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/152174/medical-notes.pdf

Happy Reading!