Vital Arts and Spitalfields Music have a long and successful history of working together on innovative and exciting projects.

The Royal Society of Public Health awarded our joint Lullabies project (2011) a Certificate of Commendation.

"The Committee were very impressed by the musical excellence and innovative character of this project and its significant and moving outcomes for all who took part. The public health implications of your work are clear and substantial.  The Committee felt that your work deserves replication and objective scientific assessment, and it hopes that further work will be possible."

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The Song Weaver
Spring - Summer 2013

This spring we embarked on an ambitious new music residency with Spitalfields Music.  Early years music specialists Zoe Palmer and Jack Ross, who delivered our popular Lullabies residency and Baby Bird’s Journey, returned to lead singing workshops in three areas of the children's hospital; on the Neonatal Unit, on the Gastro ward and with children with a rare form of eye cancer (Retinoblastoma).  Working with children under five years we produced a special CD of songs, specially composed for Speech and Language Therapists, with participating children and their families.  The CD is available from our shop for a suggested donation of £6.


Illustration and design by Ink Illustration

Spring 2011

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You can download the Lullabies booklet by clicking on the title page above

We were delighted to continue the Lullabies project with Maternity Services.  Mothers, their new born babies and families were invited to sing, share and write new lullabies from around the world
in weekly singing workshops on the Royal London's post-natal wards.  Patients contributed to a song bank of lullabies from Ghana, Turkey, Bangladesh, Poland and beyond! 

All families involved received a specially recorded copy of all songs on CD.  We invited local artist Rachel Gannon from Ink Illustration to design and illustrate this resource. 

You can listen to some lullabies from the CD:

Baby Bird's Journey

Illustrations by Ink Illustation
Spring 2011

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You can download Baby Bird's Journey by clicking on the title page above

Musicians from Spitalfields Music spent February and March visiting neonatal babies and infants in long term care at the Royal London.  Working alongside Play Specialists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, weekly singing and movement workshops were held for infants and their parents to encourage infants to reach their language and developmental milestones.  With the help of families and hospital staff, musicians devised the story and songs of a baby bird learning to fly, using songs and rhymes from all corners of the world.

All families and hospital staff involved received a CD of the story and songs for participants.  INK Illustration's Rachel Gannon illustrated the story book as a resource to accompany the CD.

You can listen to some tracks from Baby Bird's Journey below: 



Spring 2010

In 2010 Vital Arts invited Spitalfields musicians onto maternity wards for a pilot singing project.  Three musicians sang, taught, learnt and wrote lullabies from around the world in weekly singing workshops.  Mothers, fathers and their new born babies wrote simple, soothing lullabies in Bengali, Turkish, Somali, Polish and English.  All participants received a specially recorded copy of all these songs on CD.  You can listen to some of these tracks below:

Chanda Mama (Bengali Lullaby) by Vital Arts and Spitalfields Music

Manx Lullaby (Trad. Lullaby from Isle of Man) by Vital Arts and Spitalfields Music

Calm Baby (written with parents on the ward) by Vital Arts and Spitalfields Music


Read news feature: Parents bond with newborns over music in new scheme

"I was involved in the Vital Arts Lullabies project in February. After my daughter was born your project staff were singing in the ward. It was a very lovely and emotional time and I was so pleased to receive a copy of the CD.  I play it to [my daughter] to get her to sleep.  It works really well and I will keep the CD for her when she's older as it's part of her story."

Mother on post natal ward

Xenakis Pavillion
Musicians James Redwood and Sam Glazer
Spring 2010

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As part of a collaboration with local schools, we were delighted to welcome Spitalfields musicians back into playrooms and schoolrooms during the Easter holidays and spring term.  James Redwood, Sam Glazer and Neil Valentine worked with young patients on the Cystic Fibrosis ward to compose music inspired by Iannis Xenakis. Patients’ compositions were fed into an interactive sound installation. 

The Xenakis Pavillion was part of Spitalfields Summer Festival 2010.