Working one day in Leicester in October 2014, we spent some time on a Ward playing for a whole Bay to listen to. There were several families there who had obviously been waiting for some time, for a procedure or surgery. The curtain was closed around one bed, but when Dad heard the music he threw back the curtains and made encouraging comments. His little boy was about 3 years old and quite shy to begin with, but with gentle encouragement and plenty of time and space, he found the confidence to have a go. He tried the shakers to begin with and then progressed on to the glockenspiel. We played Diamond Day and a few other pieces that engaged each family.
After playing Waltz vor Polle in the bay next door, it was time for this little boy from next door to go down to theatre. He was waiting in Dad’s arms by the reception desk, crying and becoming increasingly upset. We came over to him again, still playing, and immediately got his attention and he stopped crying. As we started Wind The Bobbin Up, Dad said he became much more relaxed and calm in his arms. We offered to play and sing as they went down to theatre, and they all liked this idea a lot … our young patient still very much calm and relaxed.
As we walked off the ward, down the corridor to the lifts area, we switched to Twinkle Twinkle, as I thought perhaps if we were unable to go down in the lifts with them, Mum and Dad would be able to continue singing. … But we all fitted in the lift … and as the doors opened on level 3, to a very surprised audience awaiting the next free lift, everyone smiled. Still our little friend was engaged with the music and quiet.
Finally, we reached the doors to the theatre waiting area and left this family. A tired, grateful father said thanks and the doctors smiled in appreciation.