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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Creative music-making to improve holistic health outcomes for stroke survivors

What we do

Since December 2014 the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has worked with Hull City Council and Hull Integrated Community Stroke Service to pilot a programme using group music-making for patient-led holistic stroke therapy.

A five-month development phase brought together professional musicians and stroke therapists to devise appropriate musical techniques for a wide range of stroke rehabilitation needs, including improved mood, mobility, strength, cognitive function, socialisation, communication and wellbeing.

Forty patients and carers then took part in a 16-day project during which they learned instruments and created music alongside world-class professionals, while working towards personalised recovery goals. Staff collected data to track progress towards these goals. Results indicate that engagement led to significant improvements in patient mood, socialisation and motivation, empowering them to work towards complex physical and psychological goals. The programme has also provided respite for carers and improved relationships.

The RPO is developing the programme and refining a model for locations where the orchestra is resident in the UK.

I have thoroughly enjoyed it all; it has been fantastic from start to finish. It gave me respite from my problems and I don’t ever want to forget this part of my stroke journey. It brought me a little bit of myself back.

Tracy Jacobs, stroke survivor

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