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Lullaby Hour: Specialised music for premature babies (England)

LULLABY HOUR:  The charity Music in Hospitals & Care (MiHC) organises professional musicians to provide soothing lullabies and calming melodies for premature babies and sick children in hospitals and hospices.

MiHC have developed a  Lullaby Hour Songbook and audio for families of poorly children to take home or download. Katie Derham, BBC3 presenter and Strictly finalist, will be launching the new Lullaby Hour Songbook at one of the charity’s music sessions at St Mary’s Hospital, Neonatal Unit, London on 1st April 2019 @ 1pm.

Katie Derham, on the Lullaby Hour initative and songbook: "I’ve witnessed the tangible difference that live music can make to patients, staff and families wellbeing, across a broad spectrum of healthcare. However, this special project really highlights the impact music can have for children.

"Lullaby Hour delivers wonderful melodies to those who need it most. Soothing children and babies; and helping to calm and reduce stress for parents in truly difficult times. Lullabies are a wonderful way to connect with children and this beautifully illustrated book gives a flavour of the concert sessions themselves. Delivering special memories for families to treasure.”

Lullaby Hour delivers individualised music that is gently performed at the bedside/cotside by experienced professional musicians singing soothing lullabies and melodies to help bring relaxation and restful sleep.

Lullaby Hour was initially developed at the Children’s Heart Unit (CHU) at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where MiHC was  delivering daytime play concerts on the unit.  Sometimes the children and babies were just too ill to participate, so after discussions with the play specialists at the hospital, MiHC trialled early evening bedside sessions to help the children settle. And Lullaby Hour was born…

Since its inception, Lullaby Hour has won a national award for innovation from the Scottish Power Foundation, along with a grant to support the  project in more hospitals across the UK.   MiHC has also received funding from Arts Council England towards the development of the Lullaby Hour Songbook. 

Lullaby Hour has now expanded to London, with skin-to-skin  sessions for parents and babies on the Neonatal Wards at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea and St Mary’s Hospital in London.

Aniko Deierl – Consultant Neonatologist at St Mary’s Hospital & QCHC, said:  "These music sessions are linked to our Integrated Family Delivered Care Program, and the feedback both from parents and staff was amazing. It is a difficult and traumatic journey to have a baby in a neonatal intensive care unit. These music sessions helped parents with bonding, gave them a little break in their day, and the music can help to process the emotions they are undergoing. Witnessing moments when staff and parents are singing together with Emma while the baby is cuddled can be very emotional."

"These sessions are funded by Imperial Health Charity and Music in Hospitals & Care Charity. The Lullaby Hour artist Emma Stevens is very talented and has a soft voice accompanying her melodies on ukulele. Currently sessions are mostly delivered in special care nurseries, but when appropriate, especially for long stay patients, Emma is singing to intensive care patients as well".

A unit parent commented: "It was a very special moment for my baby and I – what a wonderful experience to provide at a stressful time."

Parents usually have their babies out for skin-to-skin cuddles at the start of the music session and Emma will sit and sing with each family in all nursery rooms.

The Lullaby Hour CD and Songbook has been produced to enhance the sessions and will be available for parents and families to access online or as hard copies.

For further information or photographs please contact:

Claire Owen, Area Director, South of England:
Tel:  01932 260811  email: claire@mihc.org.uk 


Lullaby Hour Songbook launches will also be taking place in Wales and Scotland on the same day:

WALES: Wynne Evans, opera singer and national radio presenter, will be launching the Songbook at the Noah’s Ark Hospital in Cardiff on 1st April 2019 at 2pm.

SCOTLAND: The Lullaby Hour sessions and Songbook will be launching at the Victoria Hospital Children’s Ward, Fife on 1st April 2019.


Notes to Editors:

Music in Hospitals & Care (MiHC) is a UK charity, founded in 1948. Our live musical sessions are designed to humanise clinical settings, to reach and connect people, to encourage communication and meaningful interactions and to elicit emotions and memories when it matters most.

MiHC concerts are focused on improving wellbeing and quality of life for people of all ages in hospitals, hospices, care homes and special needs schools, as well as outreach concerts in day units, tea clubs, dementia cafes and clinics. Our musicians are professionals with excellent engagement skills and musicianship, who design the concerts to maximise communication and connection. We provide around 4,500 concerts across the UK annually, benefiting over 100,000 people ranging from elderly people with dementia to life-limited children in hospices and on hospital wards.

Social Channels: #LullabyHour #joythroughlivemusic

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