An interactive arts and music audio tour to improve hospital patients’ treatment and rehabilitation
CW+ has worked with Imagineear to launch a mobile phone app as part of its new arts in health project, Rhapsody, which brings together music and visual arts into an interactive audio tour for the benefit of hospital patients.
Working with physiotherapists and occupational therapists, the music audio tour app aims to motivate patients in their rehabilitation. For example, instead of patients practising their exercises along the same stretch of corridor, physiotherapists are inviting them to locate artwork in the hospital using an interactive map on the app. In this way patients have begun creating a trail around paintings, sculptures and installations, making progress every day.
The app has recently been piloted by therapy teams at the hospital. Darren Brown, Physiotherapist, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, says: “The app has been really successful in engaging more patients in rehabilitation. It’s actually something patients want to do. Patients may be lacking in motivation and unhappy around their situation. To do something that is part of the real world can help take away those thoughts. Going on an art tour isn’t something that people expect to be doing while they are in hospital. The elation that you can see when people have engaged is really quite significant.”
The app was developed with Imagineear, who have worked with CW+ from the beginning of the project. Andrew Nugée, Imagineear CEO says: “I am delighted to be able to offer our multimedia experience to this latest stage of the Rhapsody project. It is exciting to see the difference that it has made to patients, staff and visitors alike, and to provide a platform for new composers.”
The project has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts programme. The artworks on the app have all been paired with newly-composed pieces of relaxing music and commissioned from 15 emerging composers. These composers are recent graduates from the most prestigious musical institutions including the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and Oxford and Cambridge Universities. They have worked with project ambassador and international-award-winning composer Eric Whitacre, and project mentor William Mival, Head of Composition at the Royal College of Music, to create works inspired by both the artworks and physiotherapy at the hospital.
Eric Whitacre says:”I am honoured to support the ground-breaking work of CW+. Their vision to create works of art for the healing environment will provide benefits today and a legacy for the future. This has been a tremendous opportunity for young composers to embrace.”
The Rhapsody project, which has been delivered in partnership with the Royal College of Music’s internationally renowned Woodhouse Professional Development Centre, draws on the growing body of research that looks at the way different types of music can impact on health, particularly how music can be used to stimulate movement in patients recovering from conditions such as strokes. The project aims to improve both patient experience and clinical outcomes within the hospital.
Daisy Fancourt, Arts and Enterprising Health Manager says: “We are really excited to launch Rhapsody. It has already demonstrated the powerful effects of bringing together arts, technology and medicine to improve patient experience and rehabilitation. I hope it will inspire future collaboration between musicians, artists and clinicians to benefit patients.”
Out of over 250 applications, the 15 successful composers who participate in the project are: Chloe Louise Potter, Amal Lad, Joseph Currie, Mika Sawai, Juan Carlos Vasquez, Daniel Andreas Baboulene, Marcos Fernandez, Nick Pike, Soosan Lalavar, Katie Chatburn, Charlotte Harding, Chris Williams, Isaac Ssebandeke, Chris Roe, Tomas Challenger.
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About Imagineear Ltd
Imagineear is a leading provider of multimedia content and technology solutions. We design and produce multilingual content, which we often integrate with existing archive materials, as well as live audio. We publish to smartphones, and to smart devices on-site, working with sports venues, cultural sites and the healthcare sector. In London and Amsterdam we have experienced content, hardware, software and data solution teams. Our goal is to help our clients deliver exceptional value and memorable experiences to their visitors, both on- and off-site. www.imagineear.com
CW+ improves the experience of 360,000 patients and families visiting Chelsea and Westminster Hospital every year, through:
- Delivering an arts programme at the hospital for the health and wellbeing of patients, families, volunteers and staff
- Raising funds for ‘bench to bedside’ research that identifies new treatments for patients
- Investing in clinical innovations, facilities and technology at the hospital to benefit patients
A recent pilot of the Rhapsody project resulted in:
- 100% of patients were relaxed by the audio guides, and 56% very much so
- 100% of patients had boredom alleviated by the audio guides, and 63% very much so
- 100% of patients experienced a psychological lift as a result of using the audio guides, with 27% very much so
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About Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. They support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, Arts Council England will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
About Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music (RCM) was founded in 1882 and trains gifted musicians from all over the world for international careers as performers, conductors and composers. It is one of the world’s leading conservatories with illustrious alumni including Holst, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Thomas Allen, John Lill and Mark-Anthony Turnage. The RCM has concerts most days of the week, including highly-acclaimed opera productions, symphony orchestra concerts, chamber and solo performances and master classes, all of which are open to the public
The RCM’s Woodhouse Professional Development Centre is recognised internationally as a world-leader in career development. It offers a broad range of services to help musicians bridge the gap between student and professional life. The centre, which celebrates its 15th birthday in 2014, has forged artistic collaborations with prestigious organisations across London including the British Library, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Royal Academy of Arts and the V&A Museum.
All of the performers featured in the app are current or recent RCM students, and all of the recordings were recorded in the RCM Studios. www.rcm.ac.uk
William Mival is Head of Composition at the Royal College of Music in London. A student of Anthony Milner, Robert Saxton and, in Cologne, of York Höller, he joined the staff of the Royal College of Music in 1989 lecturing in music history and orchestration. He has been active as a broadcaster, working extensively for BBC Radio Three and Four and latterly on BBC Four television. He has also worked to develop musical technologies and is the author of an innovative orchestration software package that allows for musical interaction with real orchestral textures and sonorities. Recent commissions have included a work for the harpsichordist and virginalist Sophie Yates, The Siege of Chester, which was featured on Radio Three’s The Music Machine.
Eric Whitacre is a Grammy-award winning composer renowned in particular for his choral compositions. He has written for The Tallis Scholars, BBC Proms, London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Chanticleer, Julian Lloyd Webber and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin Rundfunkchor and The King’s Singers among others. As a resident local to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and a champion of emerging composers, he has taken on the role of Ambassador to this project.