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Contributed by
Music in Hospitals & Care


Music in Hospitals & Care improves the health and wellbeing of children and adults through the healing power of live music. In March 2020, Music in Hospitals & Care had to press pause on in-person live music delivery due to COVID-19. Despite the pandemic, the charity continued to reach people with the #MusicEveryDay livestream music programme.

Music in Hospitals & Care tested how to livestream through an online musical fundraising event to understand what suited people best. The charity now streams open sessions for everyone to access on its Facebook page and YouTube channel, and personalised sessions for specific groups on YouTube, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.

Recipe status

This recipe has been in use since May 2020.

We are not sharing this recipe as the perfect solution to a problem, but we believe Music in Hospitals & Care’s learnings could be very useful to other organisations.

Users and needs served

  • As a service user, I need to access social contact and activities that are easy to engage with and improve my wellbeing
  • As a care home staff member, I need to deliver enriching activities for service users that also lift my spirits
  • As a charity, we want to deliver interactive and meaningful services for our users as safely as possible

Software and tools used

Facebook Live

Facebook Live provides livestreaming functionality on the popular social media platform. Sessions stay on the Facebook page for 24 hours. Videos can be promoted through a charity’s social media, newsletters, and so on.


Facebook Live is free to use.


Facebook Live allows charities to reach existing followers and new audiences. The platform provides fairness for musicians as the platform is free and they are likely to use it already. Facebook Live is not as easy as YouTube for care homes to broadcast on TVs. It can be difficult to monitor the success and reach of the stream.

YouTube Live

YouTube Live is a platform that allows creators to bring viewers together in real-time to learn, discuss, and form new communities. Specific links are sent for personalised sessions.


YouTube Live is free to use.


Care homes find it easier to use YouTube with pre-existing technology. They are able to broadcast streams onto smart TVs with the YouTube app. YouTube Live is interactive. Musicians can read comments and requests that come in from healthcare settings via the chat function. It is easy to send YouTube Live links to healthcare settings. The video and audio quality on YouTube Live is generally high. The chat function disappears from the video after the stream has ended. Some places, including hospitals, have YouTube locked.


Zoom is a popular online conferencing platform with video, audio, and live text chat. Features include the ability to screen share, as well as to share links and other media during a session.


Zoom offers a range of subscriptions. The free ‘Basic’ plan allows unlimited one-to-one meetings but has a 40-minute time limit on group sessions. There are also various options for paid plans: Pro (£11.99/month/host) Business (£15.99/month/host) Enterprise (£15.99/month/host). These plans contain increased options for participation and no time restrictions. Zoom is also available at discounted charity rates through the Charity Digital Exchange programme. More price options can be found here.


Musicians are able to see the audience, which results in better interaction. Musicians are also able to see reactions, as opposed to the uncomfortableness of playing into a void. Zoom is good for community groups unable to meet up due to the pandemic as they can see each other and the musician or musicians. Picture and sound quality on Zoom as not as high as other platforms.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app within the Microsoft Office 365 suite that includes instant messaging, videoconferencing, and the ability to share content from other Office 365 apps.


There is a free version of Microsoft Teams, but it does not include the ability to record meetings and there is a maximum meeting duration of 60 minutes.

The most basic paid plan, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, starts at £3.80 per user per month. This includes increased file storage, recordings and unlimited meeting times.

Microsoft 365 subscriptions are available at discounted charity rates through the Charity Digital Exchange programme.

You can view more info on Microsoft Teams pricing here.


Many organisations use Outlook for their emails so it will be easy to access Teams. Microsoft Teams allows presenters to see the audience. Microsoft Teams is good for community groups unable to meet up due to the pandemic as they can see each other and the musician or musicians. Picture and sound quality not as high as on other platforms.

Recipe steps

1. Test to see what works

● Create trial settings to see what software is best for the service you are delivering

● Communicate with any partners you are working with, as they may have specific preferences or restrictions for software

● Ensure you organise the shifts of volunteers and staff effectively

2. Communicate with musicians

● Streaming live sessions virtually can be uncomfortable for musicians, so it is important to address whether they are feeling confident about doing this work

● Test how musicians deliver their live sessions, as you want to make sure the sessions are still engaging, fun, and interactive

● Guide musicians on structures and actions to make sessions the best they can be

● Host regular peer catch ups with groups of musicians, check-in with their welfare and work together to improve the experience for musicians and service users.

3. Safeguarding processes

● Plan a safeguarding review to cover any areas that wouldn’t have previously applied to face-to-face sessions

● Train staff and musicians on your new safeguarding policies

4. Planning and delivering

● Plan four to six weeks ahead of a session going live, to ensure all communications and requirements have been set up before the live date

● Send links and ensure sessions are booked into beneficiaries’ calendars

● Make sure a team member is on every session that is being streamed

5. Evaluation and feedback

● Use Typeform to get feedback

● Reaching beneficiaries is a challenge due to communication limitations, so speak to carers to understand how the sessions are being received

● Figure out what works best for your team and don’t be afraid to change as needed


There is a disparity in people being able to access certain technology that allows this service delivery to be done. While this is a wider issue, maintaining communication with people is important to try to implement digital service delivery that is more accessible.

It is essential to be flexible with timings, as there have been fluxes and changes in their availability to take part in these sessions.

Don’t be scared to talk to funders about issues you are struggling with, as some can be very receptive. Talk about the challenges you are experiencing.

Work with technology and software that you know.

Work with the partners you know best rather than trying to expand.


Be aware of potential Wi-Fi problems and capabilities.

Some users are not able to communicate individually and are dependent on their carers to provide feedback, meaning that it can be difficult to gauge true reactions to service delivery and also can cause challenges in obtaining feedback.

Be conscious that interactions between musicians and service users are safe and monitored.


Many thanks to Music in Hospitals & Care for contributing this recipe.


This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.

That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and Music in Hospitals & Care and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.

Recipe published on April 6th, 2021. Last updated May 13th, 2021