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Musicians compose lullabies for newborns in unique East End project

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 October 2011 | UPDATED: 14:29 04 October 2011

Musicians Zoe Palmer and John Barber with parents at the Royal London

Musicians Zoe Palmer and John Barber with parents at the Royal London

Archant

Musicians have been visiting mums at an East End hospital in the hours after childbirth to compose lullabies for their new arrivals.

The Royal London hospital’s unique project is said to help new mothers bond with their babies and could now be rolled out across other trusts.

Musicians and parents decide on the composition together and then the family is given a songbook and CD to carry on the concept at home.

Research shows that music can strengthen the ties between parent and child, help with feeding and sleeping and even shorten the length of hospital stay.

The project – a partnership between cultural arts group Spitalfields Music and Barts and The London NHS Trust’s Vital Arts department - has won the backing of the Royal Society for Public Health and was recognised in its recent arts awards.

The society called the public health benefits of the scheme “clear and substantial”.

Christine Wood, baby-friendly co-ordinator at the Royal London, said: “When musicians come onto the ward, there is an immediate, perceptible change in atmosphere – it becomes quieter, calmer and everyone seems at ease.”

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