News and Views from Scotland

"Pianos on Prescription"

Shakespeare referred to 'music as the food of love', but an initiative in a Glasgow hospital has a slightly different emphasis.

'Pianos on Prescription' offers free access to instruments and lessons in Glasgow for NHS patients with conditions including depression and dementia.

It is yielding promising results. Staff at Gartnavel Royal Hospital have reported an improvement in the behaviour of mental health patients. (Graphic of the entrance to Gartnavel Royal Hospital via Wikimedia Commons. ) Fiona Sinclair, Gartnavel volunteer services manager, said:

"You can really see the transformation. People from the intensive psychiatric care unit, who are extremely unwell and who maybe can't have a conversation with someone and have to be accompanied by staff, are less anxious after they play. The referrals [to play the piano] have been quite informal but we are now looking at how to use it and record the impact on patients more formally."

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July 2016

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