16 September 2020
News Category: 
Patient and health stories

The Royal Melbourne Hospital ‘Scrub Choir’ is back by popular demand, featuring a powerful rock ballad.

Following the success of the first Scrub Choir, inspired by the trend of the ‘Couch Choir’ and ‘Pub Choir’ that have become popular throughout the pandemic.

The Scrub Choir has been an opportunity for staff at the RMH to take a moment out of their busy day.

Many of the staff who participated found it was an opportunity to unwind after a shift wearing PPE and caring for our patients.

One of the nurses on the COVID ward, Elizabeth, found it was a very therapeutic experience.

“I filmed myself singing for Scrub Choir 2, recorded it after my shift - you can probably see the marks from the N-95 mask on my face - One of our patients passed away overnight - When I sang the chorus for the song from home, I could see my patient’s face and felt, that while I did my best, I wish I could have done more. I’ve been crying - so probably not the best day to record - but singing always uplifts my soul- so I really needed this,” Elizabeth said.

RMH staff chose the song which features a very passionate powerful rock ballad about supporting each other through the tough times 'I’ll stand by You” (Hynde, Kelly & Steinberg- The Pretenders, 1994).

Dr Emma O'Brien OAM Head of Music Therapy and Scrub Choir said the song has been an anthem for us through these very difficult past months of the COVID peak and Stage 4 Lockdown.

Twice as many frontline workers submitted solo tracks this time, from home, and the choir features staff from across all our sites, with more than 400 healthcare workers participating in the clip.

One of the first things you will notice this time is all staff at work are masked. The only times the masks are off - is for footage taken by staff themselves at home.

Some highlights of this latest instalment include, some of our RMH Doctors in a string quartet, Nurse Kathy who leads the song in AUSLAN, and many of our interpreters and nurses sharing their native language.

This is all about showing that here at the RMH we are here, we always will ‘Stand by You’.

“Scrub Choir 2 has served many purposes already for the RMH staff across these past difficult months,” Dr O’Brien said.

“Scrub Choir helped us emotionally release after very difficult days at work on the frontline; it has brought us tiny moments of joy and respite that have a positive ripple effect across our days; it has lifted us up and helped us stay connected to our healthcare colleagues. We hope the community find inspiration in this release and that it brings hope,” Dr O’Brien said.

Recorded for therapeutic use only - Filmed on healthcare workers smart phones for small moments of joy and to let our community know that we are here for them now and always. Footage taken during June, July and August 2020; following strict infection control guidelines. All unmasked footage self-recorded in staffs’ and volunteers’ homes, all close groupings family units. All vocals recorded by healthcare workers outside of the hospital setting. All groups in hospital lip syncing and in staffing bubbles. No groups gathered for more than 10 minutes inside the hospital. Only well-ventilated areas were used for filming.​

Brought to you by the same team as RMH Scrub Choir – ‘Count on Me’- Produced by RMH Music Therapy, Allied Health, Video Editor/Producer- Dr Emma O’Brien OAM (Head of Music Therapy), Sound – Craig Pilkington @Audrey Studios, Thanks to Video Editing Mentor - Sioux Currie ‘Kid Curtsy Films’ & to RMH Medical Illustration & Photography for their support