In the Footsteps of Menuhin – inspirational live music on the wards at Bath RUH

Yehudi Menuhin is remembered as the finest violinist of his generation, but what many don’t know is the
extraordinary work he did to take music to people in desperate situations. He performed for soldiers
returning from World War II, and survivors of the Belsen concentration camp, bringing them renewed hope
and joy. It was on this basis that he founded the charity Live Music Now, whose musicians now perform in
hospitals, care homes and special schools all around the UK.

This year is the centenary of Menuhin’s birth. In the South West, Live Music Now and the Bath Royal United
Hospital are teaming up to celebrate this important landmark, and bring more music to patients and carers.
This is part of an ongoing project, generously supported by the Joyce Fletcher Charitable Trust, in
partnership with “Art at the Heart of the RUH”, taking young professional musicians from Live Music Now to
perform on the wards and in the public spaces of the hospital, all supported by the hospital’s brilliant
resident musician Frankie Simpkins.

Sadie Fleming, Live Music Now artist due to perform on Menuhin’s birthday, 22 April at 1.30pm, describes her last visit:

“My favourite part is getting to know the individuals, hearing about their lives and musical interests, and
trying to perform songs that I think everyone will enjoy. Last time I went, one lady loved a song so much I
sang it three times for her by her bedside. Another hadn’t spoken for two weeks, but joined in with every
word when I was singing! It’s amazing to be able to make a small difference like that – it really does make
your day!”

The impact of live music on the wards is felt by patients, staff and visitors alike:

“It was very touching to see how the music effects relationships between the patient, their loved one/carer
and ward staff; it acts as a bridge that brings people together and captures a fleeting moment that can then
stay with everyone for a long time to come.”

“Ward staff always say that the atmosphere after a music session is more relaxed, patients are less agitated
and staff need to spend less time calming patients. The immediate effect of the live music has a ‘ripple’ effect
that lasts for hours, and in some cases longer.” – Hetty Dupays, Art at the Heart, Bath RUH

And the Hospital has seen specific medical benefits for patients with dementia in particular.

“The combination of this music and meaningful activities has resulted in a marked reduction in patient anxiety, distress and incidents of violence. The reduction in the need for one to one RMN intervention has provided clear evidence of the positive effect of the changes.” – Jon Willis, Ward Manager, Bath RUH

The project is part of a newly developing programme for Live Music Now in the South West of England.

“It is so exciting to see how Menuhin’s vision is constantly renewed by the skill and commitment of the young professional musicians we work with, and by the many people and communities whose lives they touch. I’m looking forward to building on this special occasion through our ongoing partnership with Bath RUH, and through the many new projects that we are developing across the South West.” – Ursula Crickmay, Director Live Music Now South West

Sadie Fleming, LMN Musician

For more information, or to visit Live Music Now artist Sadie Fleming at Bath Royal United Hospital, please contact:

Ursula Crickmay, Live Music Now South West
E sw.england@livemusicnow.org / T 07880 437526

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