Music in Hospices was founded in 2020 by Joseph Cavalli-Price to bring the joy of live music to Music and Palliative Care settings.
Background To Music In Hospices
My mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010, a few years later after countless operations and radiotherapy her diagnosis became terminal. In November 2019 she was admitted for end of life care at Ty Olwen Hospice, Swansea. I sat by her her bedside for the last month and a half of her life. Through this, in a heartbreaking situation I experienced firsthand the incredible people and care Hospices provide: from the canteen staff, to the cafe staff, cleaners, doctors and nurses. Towards the end, I felt increasingly helpless and with my mum being non-verbal felt unable to effectively communicate with her. This is where I turned to music: the gift my Mum had inspired and encouraged in me was something I was now using to communicate with and express my feelings to her at the end of her life.
Whilst this was a deeply personal tribute to her and one of our final special moments together, it had a wider impact. Hospice staff, other patients and patient’s families expressed how much they enjoyed hearing live music on the ward: how it gave them special moments with their own families, how it relieved stress and improved the general mood on the ward and how much they would love to hear more music at the Hospice.
Why Is There a Need?
Music in hospices and palliative care settings is often overlooked because of the connotations of a hospice: many people have never experienced life in a Hospice, feel uncomfortable working with palliative care patients or not sure how to approach making music in this environment. This project is an opportunity to change that, to demystify hospices for many people and make Music making in palliative care settings the norm.
Music and music therapy in Hospices has been the subject of many studies. In one case, commissioned by the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine researchers found that people who listened to music reported less pain, anxiety, nausea, shortness of breath, and feelings of depression, as well as an increase in feelings of well-being after listening to the music. All these differences were statistically significant, which means they were likely due to the music and not just because of chance. There is clear evidence that Music in Hospices isn’t simply a token gesture but one that can have a profound affect on patients mental and physical wellbeing.
What do we hope to achieve?
Music In Hospices aims to bring the joy of live music to Hospice and Palliative Care settings allowing families to make lifelong memories through music.
Our most fervent wish is to demystify hospices and normalise musical activities in palliative care settings - to the stage where music performances in Hospices are considered normal. I want to change people’s mentality from Hospices being a place of death to a place where people are able to live out the remainder of their lives comfortably and with dignity whilst providing patients, staff and families meaningful, special and valuable final moments together thought music.
Most importantly, I want patients and their family to have special moments and memories towards the end of their family member’s life which they can reflect on and remember even after that person has died.
Maybe a person has a favourite piece of music they’d like to hear? Maybe someone would like background music to relax to or maybe the Hospice would like a short concert for an entire ward of patients. Concerts such as these, with appropriate music could be the perfect opportunity to bring families closer together and alleviate the emotional stress, pain and trauma that Hospices can bring.
Music In Hospices
In Loving Memory Of
29th April 1960 - 21st December 2019
11th August 1960 - 20th November 2019