Our projects in wellbeing settings bring an invaluable emotional and creative outlet to the many people we reach in hospitals, hospital schools, hospices and care homes. Our current projects and partnerships are detailed below and you can read more about our full participation programme, including wellbeing case studies in our 30th year brochure.

Hospice projects

These bespoke creative music-making projects are devised in partnership with St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney and St Christopher’s Hospice in Lewisham. Our animateurs and CLS musicians work with all members of the hospice including patients, families, staff and members of the community through a combination of active and passive music making and performance activities.


Care Home projects

Building upon CLS’s longstanding series of chamber music performances in care homes, in partnership with Jewish Care and their Creative Arts and Living Well Teams we are developing projects that allows residents from across the homes to listen to and take part in creative music making. Working responsively, CLS musicians use a combination of classical repertoire as well as improvisation and creative music making techniques to perform in lounges as well as engage with isolated residents in their rooms.

These projects include additional training for CLS players so that they can develop interactive elements and find opportunities to perform in ways that enable more residents to access the music.


Music for Children in Hospitals

For over twenty years, CLS musicians have been making weekly visits to children’s wards and hospital schools in London. We are currently regular visitors to Evelina and University College London Hospital where each week, under the guidance of hospital staff, visit the children’s wards including the Intensive Treatment Unit and Dialysis Ward as well as the MacMillan Cancer Centre. Using a combination of repertoire, improvisation and musical games, CLS musicians play to and with children, their families and nursing staff to excite, distract, comfort and sooth.


Headway East London

Headway East London is a charity that supports people affected by brain injury. They provide therapies, advocacy, family support and community support work alongside a day service: a community venue where members can make the most of their abilities and interests. CLS has been working with Headway members and staff since summer 2017. Projects are planned in collaboration with everyone involved to make sure we design sessions that not only enhance the centre’s programme but also leave a lasting legacy. Recent projects have responded to CLS concert programmes and aimed to raise the sense of musicianship amongst their members as well as find more ways for members with physical disabilities to access and engage with music making through music technology. Melodies, songs and sound installations have been performed by Headway members and CLS players as part of HeadwayEATS, a monthly supper club for the centre’s supporters.


Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School

From 2017 to 2020, CLS has a three-year residency in the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School. Split over two sites in Beckenham and Camberwell, the school includes pupils aged six to 19 who are resident and day patients at the psychiatric hospital. The young people present a broad range of mental health illnesses and come from across London and other areas of the UK.

CLS’s artists and musicians work alongside students and staff to deliver a range of creative projects using instruments and technology that respond to the Orchestra’s artistic programmes. In these projects, the young people’s musical skills are developed through composition, singing, listening and performance, and they are provided with opportunities to work together, express themselves and build confidence and self-esteem.

As well as finding opportunities to share this work as part of concert programming, CLS is developing a pedagogy and practice that will be carried forward into other projects in this field and other areas of the Orchestra’s health and wellbeing work. The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), based at the Maudsley Hospital site and part of King’s College London, are working with us to evaluate the impact of the music programme.