Project information

Music at Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School

Young people at Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School are going through a difficult time in their early lives. We want to help them through it. Through fun and interactive activities, we will be making music and writing songs together with our animateur (John K Miles) and a quartet of musicians.

September 2017 - July 2020

Charity information: City of London Sinfonia

City of London Sinfonia logo
  • Need


    It's challenging enough to be a young person finding your place in the world. There are social pressures to respond to and an identity to be formed, at a time when the body and mind are changing rapidly. Struggling with mental health issues on top of this only makes it more difficult--adding extra stress and anxiety, preventing you from building healthy interpersonal relationships, and lowering self-esteem.


    This project, as part of our Wellbeing through Music programme at CLS, builds young people's self-esteem, builds social skills through positive interpersonal relationships, and decreases anxiety and stress by channeling creative energy into making music together. Singing songs, playing instruments and then creating a new song together has already demonstrated a tangible, positive impact on young people at the school.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve young people's musical skills


    » Singing, listening, performance, composition and lyric writing

    What success will look like

    The class's newly composed song will feature each young person's contribution and growth over the course of the workshops

    Aim 2

    Increase the confidence and self-esteem of young people


    » Give all young people the opportunity to play an instrument, sing a solo/duet, and then perform for their parents and family members

    What success will look like

    Teachers will express how music has made a difference to each young person's confidence and self-esteem

    Aim 3

    Improve social skills


    » Young people work together to compose music and lyrics to their very own song
    » They take turns listening, playing and contributing ideas

    What success will look like

    Both the young people and the teachers will comment on the way music has brought everyone together

    Aim 4

    Improve confidence and skills of teachers to incorporate music in their classroom activities


    » Teachers are involved in the class's music-making activities
    » Teachers are provided formal music training to become Arts Award Advisors

    What success will look like

    Teachers will tell us how they are using music in the classroom when we are not leading music activities

    Aim 5

    Improve the music sector's understanding of using music in mental health settings


    » An external evaluator will tell us what we are doing right, and make suggestions for where we can improve. Then we'll share these findings.

    What success will look like

    Music organisations will consult us on the project, and devise their own based on our learnings

  • Impact


    We hope to create a legacy of music-making at the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School, so that music becomes an integral part of a young person's stay at the hospital. With each class's newly composed song, we will create a songbook that captures the contributions of that class, and eventually audio record them for the young people and teachers to remember. This ties into CLS's belief that music has the power to transform people across all areas of society.


    1. Each young person has different behavioural needs, so we are in constant communication with their teachers and involve them closely in our activities because they understand the young people's needs best.
    2. Our musicians have different levels of experience working in mental health settings, so we provide training that builds their confidence and understanding of the environment.


    Every 3 months, donors will receive an update on the project, with a description of what went on and audio or photography as it's available. The report will include this project as well other projects within the wider Wellbeing through Music programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,250 1 Musician Play music the young people have composed and give them individual lessons
      £3,000 Music leader Leads singing and music-making workshops for the whole group
      £3,900 Music workshops and concert Planning, scheduling, meeting, monitoring and evaluating by CLS staff
      £900 Materials Sheet music and instruments; Arts Award portfolios
      £1,000 Mental health training Musicians learn how to work in a mental health setting
      £3,200 External evaluation An evaluator tells us what we are doing right, and how we can improve each year
      £1,000 Arts Award Training Teachers receive training to be able to administer Arts Awards for students
      £5,750 Project management Supporting the costs of the Director of Participation and organisational overhead costs
  • Background


    The Bethlem Royal Hospital is a specialist psychiatric hospital in Bromley, London. It was established in 1247 and is Europe's first and oldest institution to specialise in mental illnesses, with approx. 350 beds. Today, the hospital includes specialist services such as the National Psychosis Unit, an Adolescent Unit for 12-18 year olds across the UK, as well as its own art gallery and Museum of the Mind. Wider Wellbeing through Music projects happen across London.


    An average of 60 young people aged 8-18 will benefit per year of this three-year project. Their teachers will also benefit from the increased skillset, as will CLS musicians and music leader. Over 2000 people benefit from CLS's Wellbeing through Music programme as a whole.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    CLS is dedicated to bringing music-making activities to people who wouldn't normally have access to it, but would benefit the most. We were the first orchestra to establish a year-round programme dedicated to making music in schools, hospitals and communities, and we currently spend over 170 days in the community every year making music with a wide range of people, now reaching over 15,000 per annum.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John K Miles

    As music leader, John leads singing, encourages young people to participate, listen to their ideas for composition and lyric writing

    Petra Woodford

    Assistant Headteacher at the hospital school, Petra is the key link between CLS and the teachers and young people

    Fiona Lambert

    As Director of Participation at CLS, Fiona liaises with the music leader, musicians and teachers at the school

Our young people are very individual, and often struggle being part of a group. Music facilitates those social skills that we’re trying to teach in class: listen, take turns, wait. In CLS’s music sessions, you could see that in evidence all the time.

Petra, Assistant Headteacher, Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School