Seeing Stroke Recovery Through Music Reminded me Why I Love my Job

I’ve been working as an occupational therapist with stroke patients for the past three years. It’s a privilege to be let into people’s lives and to get to know them and their families; but if they’re not getting better, it can be heartbreaking.

Working for a full stroke service in Hull, I am always busy. It is stressful and even though I know we do a good job, we always know we could be doing better if only we had the time to sit down and really work it out. Although the day-to-day reality of my job is always different, I could never have envisaged the impact one project would have on me, my colleagues and our patients.

In December 2014, I was asked to go to a workshop with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), which was coming to run music sessions with us as part of its community outreach work.

We met Tim Steiner from the RPO to brainstorm what the issues might be for people with cognitive and physical problems. My first thought was: “We’re very busy, how are we going to fit this in?” I’ve done group work before and while it can be really powerful, it’s hard. I was concerned but I could also see this was an amazing opportunity if we could pull it off.