In the summer of 2018, professional musicians Thomas Sherman and Joe Harrison-Greaves started to work on a music project with 20 people with different types of hearing loss and links to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ outpatients Hearing Services Department. Intensive music workshops took place at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Music in their beautiful rehearsal spaces with access to a piano, key-boards and a range of percussion instruments.
Tom and Joe worked intensively to help the participants discover and reconnect with a passion for music. The project culminated in a final, public performance on 21st March 2019, during which the participants played some of the new musical compositions they had created together. Members of the audience were encouraged to join in by responding to the graphic scores the participants had designed and artist/sign writer Russ Young had translated into two large paintings. These paintings have now been permanently installed at the Hearing Services Department of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
We organised an official unveiling event on 5th December to complete this projects. Mir Jansen said:-
It was great to catch up with some of the participants and the musicians and great to see that so many staff from the Department joined this event.
Dr Harriet Crook, Lead Clinical Scientist in Audiological Science and Hearing Services had been enthusiastic right from the start of this project and spoke warmly about the effect music can have on people who have difficulties with their hearing. We also heard from Tom and Joe who spoke about their year-long experience and played their musical score, ‘Lament for Lost Sounds’, inspired by their year of working with the group. Recordings of this and the compositions created by the participants can be found on our special soundcloud page
Catherine Kenny, one of our fundraising officer for Sheffield Hospitals Charity, co-funders of this project, also spoke of her own experience of loss of hearing and the sadness you can feel when you are around music.
The University of Sheffield showed a film they had made during the rehearsals for the final live music event. Participants Sue Worner and Donald Robinson both speak frankly about the importance of having music in their lives. You can watch it by clicking here
A big thanks to all who supported and participated in this project. This was our final event in the In & Out of Hospitals arts programme, funded by Arts Council England and Sheffield Hospitals Charity
pictured left to right:- Steve Barks (patient governor), Hilary Robinson (participant), Thomas Sherman (musician), Sue Worner (participant), Catherine Kenny (Sheffield Hospitals Charity) Joe Harrison-Greaves (musician), Peter Ford (participant), Barbara Bell (patient governor), Jules Richardson (participant) Sue Taylor (patient governor), Ivor Soutar (participant), Mir Jansen (arts coordinator), Dr. Harriet Crook (lead clinical scientist for audiology and hearing services) and Dr. Renee Timmers (professor in psychology of music, University of Sheffield)