Sydney Symphony and MBF Bring Christmas Cheer to Sick Children

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The Sydney Symphony will be making spirits bright at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead on Friday 4 December as they bring Christmas to the kids in the latest installment of Sydney Symphony/MBF award-winning music4health program.

The Sydney Symphony will be making spirits bright at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead on Friday 4 December as they bring Christmas to the kids in the latest installment of Sydney Symphony/MBF award-winning music4health program.

This is the eighth hospital visit this year by the Sydney Symphony as part of the program, and the musicians have been busy making a list (and checking it twice!) of their favourite Christmas songs to perform as part of this very special concert for the children at Westmead Hostpital.

“The Sydney Symphony is dedicated to providing live musical experiences to everyone throughout New South Wales. More than half the performances we give each year are at venues such as the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and we thank MBF Health Insurance for partnering with us on bringing so much joy to hospital patients each year,” says Sydney Symphony Managing Director, Rory Jeffes.

Research out of Australia, the US and the UK indicates that live classical music and its relaxing effects can improve patient responses to medication and various forms of treatment. It also has therapeutic benefits ranging from pain alleviation, blood pressure reduction and increased immune response.

Dr Christine Bennett, Chief Medical Officer at Bupa Australia* says the program highlights the natural alignment between beautiful music and improved health and wellness.

“Evidence shows music has the ability to relax patients, improving their responses to treatment and therapy,” Dr Bennett says. “In addition, for children unfortunate enough to be in hospital at Christmas, this event will hopefully provide them with an opportunity to forget about their illness - if only for a short time - and will bring some joy into their lives."

music4health is the first known instance in Australia of a large health insurance organisation and an established music institution such as the Sydney Symphony working together to utilise and promote the association between music and health.

The program was first devised in 2003 when the Sydney Symphony began to consider how to bring music to people who were unable to experience live classical music due to limited mobility, illness or other circumstances. The Orchestra wanted to explore ways of bringing music out of the concert hall and into the community, in particular to hospitals such as the Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Each year, musicians from the Sydney Symphony visit eight hospitals throughout New South Wales and since the program started, the Orchestra has visited over 30 hospitals and healthcare facilities including a number in western Sydney including Liverpool Hospital and Bupa Dural, as well as a concert in association with the Autism Advisory and Support Service at Mount Pritchard.

According to Sydney Symphony violinist Stan Kornel, who regularly performs at the hospital visits: “The program makes us aware that even a small amount of live classical music can have a huge effect on these young children. It can be such a source of joy and a greater gift than most material things. It’s so encouraging to see their faces light up.”

This special festive performance will take place on Friday 4 December at 11am in the Starlight Room at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

About MBF
MBF Health Insurance has been looking after Australians for more than 60 years. As a leading private health insurer, our primary aim is to help all Australians live longer, healthier and happier lives.

MBF proudly provides health cover to around 1.7 million Australians – giving them the confidence to better manage their healthcare needs. We have a broad range of quality health insurance products and an extensive national member centre network. Recently, we were independently assessed by CANNEX and named the national winner of the Outstanding Value Private Health Insurance Award.

In addition to private health insurance, MBF offers life and travel insurance, as well as financial planning, superannuation and managed investment products through ClearView Retirement Solutions.

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Katherine Stevenson
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