Musician in Residence Frankie Simpkins provides a weekly session, using voice and ukulele. When Frankie visits a ward she begins by liaising with staff regarding anything she should be aware of whilst on the ward, such as bays she shouldn’t go in, or specific patients who would benefit from the music. Most wards are made of a number of side rooms and 4 bays with 5-6 beds in each.
On an average ward visit, which is between 45mins to 1 hour, Frankie will visit between 3 and 4 bays dependent on a number of factors including doctors’ rounds and other ward activity. When arriving on a bay she introduces herself to each patient, and asks if they would like to hear some music. Frankie believes it is important to give patients the option of music and not to force it on them. When in hospital, patients do not have much control over what is happening to them, with the music they can have that control so it is important to give them the choice. If patients are chatty and forthcoming with conversation then she will take time to chat to them and may discuss favourite genres of music or favourite songs.
Frankie chooses songs that complement and enhance the ward atmosphere, it may be busy and fraught and so she would choose slow soothing songs to promote a calmer atmosphere or if the ward is low and down she will sing uplifting songs to lift the mood.
The Soundbite Referral Programme
We are currently running a referral programme, where Frankie visits patients that have been referred to us by ward staff and the dementia coordinators. These patients may have talked about enjoying music or could just benefit from someone sitting down and chatting with them. Patients with Dementia are not necessarily always on the older patients units where Frankie spends most of her time and so by running the referral programme, she can be advised of a patient that is not on an OPU, and she can make sure to visit.
If you would like to request our Musician in Residence to come and visit you to play your favourite piece of music or just to have a chat please call 01225 824987 or email Frankie firstname.lastname@example.org
Since February 2015, Frankie has occasionally performed on the Children’s Ward. Adding to her extensive repertoire of golden oldies, Frankie has perfected the most difficult of Disney classics such as ‘I want to be like you, ‘Hakuna Matata’ and the beautiful ‘Colours of the Wind’ whilst keeping the biggest of Frozen fans happy with the popular ‘Let it Go’.
Armed with her trusty ukulele Frankie’s flexible approach is suited to all ages and tastes and she loves to take requests.
Soundbite: The Album
Back in April 2015, our Musician in Residence spent some time at The Riverside Youth Recording Studios in Bath recording Soundbite: The Album.
The album includes popular songs from the Older Patient Unit’s and Children’s Ward, involving a mixture of her ukulele accompaniment and backing tracks of classics such as; ‘Fly me to the moon’, ‘What a wonderful world’ and ‘Let it go’ from Disney’s Frozen.
You can hear Soundbite: The Album across the trust, via the hospital’s very own radio station Bath Hospital Radio or via the link above.