EX CATHEDRA | Singing Medicine

Every Friday since 2004 Ex Cathedra’s award winning Singing Medicine team has brought singing play to children at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The team has developed special repertoire and ways of working which enable children with life-limiting conditions to participate in, and benefit from, singing activities. Singing is a special activity that brings feelings of well-being, and can stimulate or calm the body and our singing games have been designed to enable children of all capabilities and needs to be able to make decisions in an environment where they can feel all decision making and control has been taken away from them.

You can learn more and access lots of interactive or calming Singing Medicine videos by visiting our new dedicated website:


Personalised, interactive films

During the coronavirus pandemic it isn’t possible for our Vocal Tutors to visit the hospital wards. At this time the children are allowed fewer visitors and are more isolated than ever, so we are delighted that our funders have agreed we can reallocate their support to create personalised, interactive films – recorded in our own homes each Friday – to support them at this time.

You can watch non-personalised examples here.

About Singing Medicine

The project started at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2004 and since then has won an NHS Health and Social Care Award, and most recently an award from the Royal Society for Public Health for outstanding contribution to the field of arts and health. The project has been delivered at Great Ormond Street, John Radcliffe, Warwick and Heartlands hospitals, as well as travelling to Auckland and Singapore.

We aim to make a difference to children and special moments have included children speaking for the first time following a coma, or smiling for the first time in weeks.

What they say

Singing Medicine makes you feel better and helps you play.” (Patient, aged 6)

He really enjoys himself and can feel that bit brighter. There’s a reason to get to the end of the week – because Singing Medicine is going to be there.” (Parent)

How you can help

If you would like to make a donation to support Singing Medicine, we would be extremely grateful.

We would like to thank all of our funders for their very kind support. Current major funders for Singing Medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital include The Oak Foundation, The Froebel Trust and The Masonic Charitable Foundation.