The Royal Melbourne Hospitals ‘Scrub Choir’

It was on March 20 th 2020, that due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian borders were closed to all non-residents, the next day social distancing rules were imposed and state governments started to close ‘non-essential’ services. It goes without saying that much has changed in our world over the last six months.

I purposely haven’t mentioned COVID-19 in this blog as there’s been so much written and spoken about it on all of our media channels, however I hope you don’t mind if I make this one exception.

I live in Melbourne very close to the hospital precincts of the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Over the last six months I’ve watched so many good people go to work daily on the front line to battle this disease and I just want to give them a hug to show them my gratitude for what they along with all the health workers around Australia have done and am continuing to do so selflessly.

Consequently, I’d like to give a plug to an initiative established by the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Chief Music Therapist and Music Therapy Director Dr Emma O’Brien OAM called the Scrub Choir.

Inspired by the ‘Couch Choir’ and ‘Pub Choir’, Emma managed to coerce 400 RMH staff from Musical, Nursing, Allied Health, Executive, Admin, Security and Environmental Services to take a moment out of their busy day, or after a shift on the COVID-19 wards to unwind, reflect and have a bit of fun while performing the
Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders 1994 hit “I’ll Stand By You”.

As many of the people who took part in “I’ll Stand By You” found the experience very therapeutic Emma got them together again to perform Bruno Mars 2012 hit ‘Count On Me’. “We chose this song as we all need to continue to ‘Count on’ each other, we want the community to know we are here for them always, and also to show our support for all people working in healthcare worldwide,” Emma said.

And in return, all the Scrub Choir ask is that you please look after yourself. Help and support is available and call Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you require immediate assistance or in an emergency call 000.

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