ENO Breathe with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

5th August 2020 in News

The programme will use lullabies to help to put COVID-19 to bed.

We are partnering with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to develop a social prescribing intervention that will provide crucial support to people recovering from COVID-19, in the first partnership of its kind between a leading arts organisation and an NHS Trust.

Working closely with Imperial College Healthcare, we have devised and developed an integrated six week pilot programme of singing, breathing and wellbeing aimed at supporting and enhancing the recovery of COVID-19 survivors.

Led by ENO Baylis, our learning and participation programme, this holistic online programme brings together medical and musical expertise and will provide novel ways to support and empower those recovering from COVID-19, offering tools for self-management, particularly with regards to posture, breath and anxiety.

ENO Breathe is being developed as an improvement in care specifically for patients recovering from COVID-19, particularly those who are suffering from breathlessness and the anxiety this can produce. It is the first programme of its kind being developed for these patients.

Patients enrolled in the programme will learn techniques to help them focus constructively on their breathing, using music expressly designed to calm.

Traditional lullabies cross boundaries of culture and are accessible to all. By their very nature they tend to sit comfortably within a non-specialist singer’s vocal range. There are also powerful moments where lullabies appear in operas, providing the potential to link with an extraordinary range of operatic repertory.

Using lullabies as the creative starting point, we aim to empower patients with tools and techniques that they will be able to use beyond the duration of the programme.

Our combined approach will help train the patients’ minds to work with their body and will mirror techniques employed by opera singers who have to trick their bodies into performing complex physiological tasks, and often achieve the physical co-ordination required for singing via emotional connection and imagery, rather than by giving their bodies explicit physiological instructions.

Initially being trialled across London, we plan to expand this programme nationwide. It continues ENO’s ongoing support of the NHS and in particular, Imperial College Healthcare, having made scrubs for their respiratory team during the pandemic.

For further details, including quotes from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the National Academy of Social Prescribing, read the full press release.