Bristol’s Elgar Enablement Unit at Southmead Hospital has welcomed a festive surprise this Christmas season—a brand-new piano generously donated by Channel 4’s television programme, ‘The Piano,’ produced by Love Productions.
The unveiling of this thoughtful gift took place in the presence of Harry Hussey and Fiona Bennett, both featured in the inaugural series of ‘The Piano.’ The duo treated patients and their families to a heartwarming festive concert as part of the Christmas celebrations.
The addition of the new piano is poised to significantly enhance the musical offerings at the Elgar Enablement Unit. This unit plays a vital role in caring for individuals awaiting arrangements for their ongoing care needs. The piano will facilitate the exploration of innovative ways to deploy volunteer pianists, expanding the range of musical experiences available to patients.
Trainee Music Therapists will utilize the instrument for one-on-one and group music therapy sessions, benefitting staff, patients, and their families alike. The Fresh Arts program at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), boasting over 60 volunteer musicians, consistently provides a diverse schedule of live music to uplift and positively impact patients, visitors, and staff.
In the previous year (2022-2023), the program delivered an impressive 495 hours of music in the Brunel building atrium, featuring performances by guest and volunteer musicians. Professional musicians added to this initiative by delivering 81 hours of music in clinical spaces, reaching 755 patients, 1466 staff, and 1015 visitors.
Laura Tanner, Music Manager at NBT, expressed her enthusiasm about the new addition, stating, “This new instrument is a fantastic addition to our existing pool of musical resources. Having a piano of such quality in Elgar Enablement Unit will positively impact our wider music program in a wide variety of ways.”
Tanner highlighted the emotional impact of live music within clinical spaces, describing music as a language beyond words capable of expressing the inexpressible. The hospital community looks forward to the myriad ways in which the new piano will contribute to the healing and uplifting environment within the Elgar Enablement Unit. Already, the instrument has played a role in commemorating Disability History Month and enriching the Christmas service organized by the hospital Chaplaincy team.