Beth recently caused an online sensation by singing the Mcfly number ‘It’s All About You’ for patient Artie, which his mum recorded and posted on social media, gaining attention from the band members themselves! Here she tells us about her love for songs on the wards and the benefits they can bring for patients, families and staff.
Beth has been teaching patients to play instruments and performing songs for them since she began training at GOSH, almost five years ago: “I started teaching a boy here how to play guitar when I was a student. He had a guitar in his room, but no one to teach him, so I was like ‘I can do it!’. Then all the parents in the ward heard, so I started going round all the rooms...
“Since qualifying as a staff nurse I’ve often not had time but sometimes at the weekend if it’s a bit quieter, I’ve started bringing in my guitar again to play for patients."
Referring to her more recent performances on ukulele: “Fortunately the ukulele was left here by the Music Therapy team. I just end up playing spontaneously. It makes a real difference when some of the kids feel grumpy and can’t leave their rooms – it brings a bit of joy, and many tears.”
And what benefits can music bring as part of a patients care?
“As part of my degree I did a bit of research around music therapy for pain relief, and there is evidence to suggest that it does reduce pain. But even as a distraction technique it’s good, and I think music speaks to everyone’s soul. When kids and families are going through the toughest time it just brings a bit of normality and joy.
“It’s beneficial for staff too. Sometimes we sing in the corridor and it just brings everybody up. It really doesn’t take anything – I’ve played music all my life and this is something so small for me, but it makes a huge difference, so of course I’ll do it whenever I can.”
Asked whether she has any other songs in her repertoire, Beth reveals “I do have some other songs! On ukulele I’m more limited, but on guitar I’m hoping to release some original songs that I’ve written, to raise money for the Lion, Giraffe and Kilimanjaro climb which is happening next year.”
Watch the video below to hear Beth doing another performance of All About You on ukulele: