The Power of Music

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    North London Hospice
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Thanks to a partnership with Nordoff Robbins, we are able to offer music therapy to our patients this year.


Nordoff Robbins Music Therapist Abbie Francis spends a day a week at NLH working with patients at our Finchley site & Health & Wellbeing Centre.


Nordoff Robbins is the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to enriching the lives of people affected by life limiting illness, isolation or disability. It supports thousands of people through its own centres and by working in partnership with organisations including care homes, schools and hospitals, and in Health and Wellbeing centres like ours.


Abbie holds individual sessions and each week patients, volunteers and staff are encouraged to join her in our communal areas for informal music sessions where they sing, tap or play along.


The individual sessions can be of great comfort explains Abbie: “This can be a powerful experience for a patient. Being with someone at their bedside, when often communication is lost or difficult, they find a sense of companionship. And working with patients attending the Health & Wellbeing Centre provides an opportunity to create something, like a piece of music, to leave as part of their legacy. Learning a new skill or being creative provides a distraction or stress release.”


Abbie also works with our bereavement support team and in the run up to National Grief Awareness Week in December she worked with a group to write a song about their journeys through grief and bereavement and shared experiences.


“The end product was a beautiful song, with verses representing the rawness, pain and heartbreak, set against an optimistic chorus which gives their advice on how to keep going,” Explained Abbie. “The final verse looks forward, talks of healing with time, pushing through, and writing a new chapter without forgetting the book so far.”


The group performed the song beautifully at our Catching the Light Photography Exhibition at the Health & Wellbeing Centre during the Grief Awareness Week in December. They sang to a large audience, and received some great feedback. It was an emotional performance, but their message sang through.


Abbie added: “Members of the group shared their experience of the importance of connecting with others who understand their situation and ‘speak the same language’. They and I are keen to run a similar group in 2020.”


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