Music often instrument for health

Raymond Morrison (6) with Liam O'Malley and Joshua Davis from WASO.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d445393
Raymond Morrison (6) with Liam O'Malley and Joshua Davis from WASO.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d445393

Ms Elphick, who helps to continue education during kids� hospital stays, said music was an important component of a balanced school curriculum.

�Research has shown that those who learn an instrument tend to have improved academic achievement, enhancing their test scores, attitudes, social skills, critical and creative thinking,� she said.

�It is therefore no coincidence that the SSNMMH has partnered with WA Symphony Orchestra (WASO) to deliver the Hospital Orchestral Program.�

For seven years, WASO musicians have visited children in Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) to play music on the wards, deliver interactive workshops and ensemble performances.

�Sometimes the days are quite long and this gives a new opportunity; some of the older kids even have a go on the instruments,� Ms Elphick said.

�For many it brings joy and allows them to forget why they are in hospital, if only for a short time.�

WASO trombonist Liam O�Malley said travelling around Perth to perform gave many children the chance to see orchestral instruments up close.

�It�s a logistical nightmare to get a full orchestra around, so we usually take a small group of people,� Mr O�Malley said.

WASO community engagement manager Cassandra Lake said the program was self-funded, with assistance from program partnerships.

�Our plan is to continue to run the program when the Hospital Schools Services relocate to the new Perth Children�s Hospital next year and to increase our visits from six to eight per year,� Ms Lake said,

�We will continue to finish the year with our Christmas concert, which is always great fun and full of joy.�

An ensemble of at least 12 WASO musicians and 16 WASO Chorus singers will perform a mix of traditional and contemporary Christmas Carols at the Telethon Theatre on December 8.