A new performer on our wards

On Tuesday 24th October we welcomed pianist Sophie Eden into our team of Stars Appeal Live Artists. Sophie’s performances bounced around the bays and were carried along the corridors of Amesbury, Whiteparish, Pitton, Odstock and Spire Wards throughout the day.

Patients, visitors and staff members were seen dancing and moving to the music of Einaudi, Louis Armstrong, Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones. Music from films (Jurassic Park brought dinosaurs onto Odstock Ward) and musical theatre was well represented and staff members seemed particularly keen on the Greatest Showman. My personal favourite of the day was a classical arrangement of The Killers’ ‘Mr Brightside’.


Sophie playing keyboard in bay on ward

Some of the comments heard while Sophie was playing….

“I’m so pleased to see you here.”

“Ooh, it’s like water!”

“It changes the wards.”

“It really makes a difference.”

The Stars Appeal Live Programme exists to lift spirits, to stimulate memories and to distract from the routine of the hospital day. Sophie’s performances created points of connection between patients, visitors and staff. The music created moments of quiet contemplation and initiated cultural conversations, allowing members of our hospital community to share their opinions and interests.

As a new member of the ArtCare team, I relished the opportunity to witness the impact of live performance on the wards. I appreciated the smiles, the joy, the calm and the laughter – not to mention the chance to see fun-loving colleagues singing and dancing to entertain patients and each other.

Do you enjoy listening to live music? The Salisbury Gig Guide lists some of the upcoming performances by bands, classical music concerts taking place in and around Salisbury. Another place to look is Experience Salisbury.

Further reading

If you’re interested in reading about the impact of music and the arts in healthcare, UK Music published a report ‘Power of Music’ in 2022 and Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing was published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing in 2017, whilst the World Health Organisation’s report brings together the results of 3000 studies in its publication ‘What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being’ (2019).