Play a Tune for Forth Valley Hospital Patients

The search is on for volunteers to tickle the ivories on five pianos which have just been placed in wards and public areas across NHS Forth Valley’s hospitals. The invitation is open to both student musicians and polished performers who are being invited to strike up a tune or two as part of an initiative to improve health and wellbeing.

In a finely tuned move, the digital pianos have been installed in Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre, Falkirk Community Hospital, Forth Valley Royal Hospital and the new Neighbourhood Hub in the Bellfield Centre at Stirling Health and Care Village. Funding support has been provided through the NHS Forth Valley Endowment Fund and the beautiful keyboards are now available for patients, visitors, staff and musicians to enjoy.

Research has shown that music has physical, psychological and biological benefits within healthcare settings and can reduce levels of anxiety and stress. According to a famous quote from Sir Elton John “music has healing power.”

NHS Forth Valley Director of Nursing Professor Angela Wallace said: “We hope these pianos will bring music to the ears of our patients and staff. Music is really good for the soul and, in the case of older patients, can help evoke memories of important moments in their lives.”

Kevin Harrison, Director of the charity Artlink Central, who are joint partners in the quest to find local musicians, added: “We hope to strike a chord with budding musicians as well as accomplished pianists that this is an opportunity not to miss and one which could help hone their musical skills.

“People may be shy about playing in public but the atmosphere in the wards is very friendly and no one is expecting the standard of the world famous Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang! Just a few hours a week would be very much appreciated.”

The pianos will provide another musical dimension to the range of live music which already features in local wards. This includes appearances by local healthcare staff involved in a number of NHS Forth Valley choirs, performances by students studying classical music and more traditional music provided by Alec Souter, a porter at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, who regularly visits the wards to play the bagpipes for patients and staff.

Anyone interested in practicing their scales and helping to entertain local patients should contact Artlink Central on 01786 450971 and speak to Kevin or Robin during office hours.

Artlink Central hope arrangements will be in place to allow performances to take place during the festive period.