Patients at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London will soon be enjoying classical music as part of their recovery. A total of 15 young composers have been chosen to write an ‘audio guide’ to the hospital’s art collection, where each piece is described by a specific piece of music – rather than a verbal guide.
The idea behind the project, championed by the Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity, is to help patients recover and relax. Patients are using the musical guided tour to help them move further off the ward each day, and motivate them to get out of bed when there is little incentive to do so.
Eric Whitacre, ambassador for the project, said he was honoured to support the hospital’s ground-breaking work: “Their vision to create works of art for the healing environment will provide benefits today and a legacy for the future,” he said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for young composers to embrace, and a complex challenge. I look forward to hearing their work.”
All the patients who trialled the guides said they experienced a psychological lift and said they felt less bored after trying them out. Musicians from the Royal College of Music will be recording the pieces next year.