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© 2019 by Harry Houseago.

volunteer music therapy

I first started volunteering as a musician in hospitals in 2010 with my mother Annie, aka 'Tin Pan Annie', one of London's best, and most fun, musical entertainers and educators for babies and children. Together we made weekly visits to Great Ormond Street children's hospital in London to play on their in-house radio station Radio Lollipop.

Patients at GOSH would sing and play songs with us and the Radio Lollipop team live from the radio station (based in an old London tube carriage), or down the phone lines if unable to leave their wards. I have also helped to organise fundraising shows for the Radio Lollipop charity, which helps to recruit and train volunteers to visit, befriend and play games with the children on the wards, helping to bring some much-needed brightness into their time in hospital.

Since 2018 I have been a visiting musician on the children's wards at King's College Hospital along with Tin Pan Annie. With instruction and guidance from the medical staff, we visit all the various children's wards, including A&E and Intensive Care, befriending the patients and playing music with them to help with their wellbeing and recovery by bringing some fun and silliness with us. Every patient is completely individual and the benefits of bringing live music and fun into their day are many and extremely varied depending on them.

If you are part of an organisation that you believe would benefit from this kind of work, or wonder if it might, then please don't hesitate to get in contact. Music can do a lot of good.