Image shown: Healing Sounds on the wards

The Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is inviting applications from suitably qualified people to join a panel of musicians to perform for and with patients of University Hospital Waterford as part of our monthly Healing Sounds programme from January 2017 for one year. 

The successful applicants will be mentored in bringing live music to the bedside of patients by musician Liam Merriman who qualified as a trainer of hospital musicians with Musique et Sante, Paris and who has vast experience of working within the music and health context.

Healing Sounds in the wards

WHAT, based in the WHAT Centre for Arts and Health at University Hospital Waterford, is one of Ireland’s leading hospital arts programmes. In 2000, it established the Healing Sounds programme with the aim of reducing stress and anxiety for patients, staff and visitors of UHW through live music. The programme promotes a range of musicians and musical styles and, where appropriate, encourages patients and staff to engage with the performing musicians. In 2014, WHAT introduced mentoring for musicians and has since mentored four musicians to play music for and with patients. Some quotes from musicians who participated in this programme:

“It was apparent to me at this particular session that the music was a very welcoming aspect of the day for both patients and staff. One gentleman spent the entire session singing with us and we only learned afterwards that he had great difficulty with speech, the music and song seemed to strike a very happy chord with him”.

“As always, a beautiful way to spend a few hours. Each time I learn something new. We had a few of the patients visitors express their appreciation the good spirit generated in the hospital through the music, this was a definite high point for me”

Healing Sounds is not a music therapy programme. Nor is it a participatory music programme. It is a performance programme whereby the musicians are asked to adapt to the hospital environment and respond to patients’ needs. This programme is funded by the Arts Council.

Selection criteria

The successful applicants will have the following:

• Musical competence and performance experience including an ability / willingness to use voice
• Excellent interpersonal skills including patient-centred approaches to performance
• Commitment to developing their practice within the context of music and health
• An understanding of the ethos of the Healing Sounds programme

Roles and responsibilities

The selected musicians will:
• Actively participate in the Healing Sounds programme and the mentoring process
• Build an appropriate repertoire of music for playing in an acute hospital context
• Reflect on their learning via a journal
• Undergo a Garda clearance process
WHAT will:
• Liaise with the staff of UHW in scheduling Healing Sounds sessions
• Provide mentoring support throughout the programme
• Brief the musicians on music and health, infection control, security, health & safety, ethical and child protection issues
• Pay musician an honorarium of €75 per session which usually takes place on Mondays from 3.00pm to 4.00pm followed by debriefing with Liam Merriman

How to apply

Interested musicians are requested to submit by written application only:

• A current Curriculum Vitae / biography
• Expression of interest (max 200 words) in which musicians state their motivation and suitability for performing in an acute hospital
• Names and full contact details of two relevant referees

Applications should be submitted to the Music Co-ordinator, WHAT, University Hospital Waterford, Dunmore Road, Waterford or emailed to no later than Friday, 21 October 2016. Please put ‘Healing Sounds application’ in the subject line of the email.

Short listed applicants are invited to attend a workshop in the WHAT Centre for Arts and Health which will be scheduled at 2.00pm on Monday, 7 November 2016 at which a selection will be made. Applicants will be asked to perform for their peers at this workshop.

For further information on WHAT, see . Contact 051 842664 or email if you have specific queries.


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