The Hobart

Local Lad Will Parsell

by Stephanie Williams
Local Lad Will Parsell

Will Parsell is from a musical family in Hobart and trained at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music. Will is one of the primary musicians at Inscape Tasmania, a program that offers music and art to patients in a hospital setting.

Where in Hobart do you live? North Hobart.

What’s the best thing about Hobart? Without a doubt, the fresh air.

And the worst? I’ve tried really hard but I really can’t think of anything significant. But I think that’s a good sign!

Tell us a little about your work? I’m a musician. I work with Inscape Tasmania at the Royal Hobart Hospital where I play music at patient’s bedsides, as a ‘Bedside Musician’, and I also give ‘Pop up Performances’ in some of the public spaces around the hospital. I teach music and I perform around Hobart playing gigs (when venues are open!).

How does the Inscape program at the Royal Hobart Hospital work? Inscape is an arts organisation that offers music and art programs and performances to enrich the patient experience. We receive referrals from various health professionals (physios, doctors, nurses) and then we follow up to see if the patient would like a regular visit. This could be playing music to them, listening to music with them or sometimes just chatting. We try to have a holistic approach to human communication.

What role do you think music plays in health and wellbeing? I believe that music is such a constant in people’s lives. Music is attached to memories, important events and brings joy. And for many people it’s a normal part of their day-to-day life. This joy can go missing when people are in hospital and I believe that music in that setting can bring such joy and can be a welcome distraction at a time of deep stress and anxiety. Music is beneficial in so many ways, it’s very multipurpose and can impact in lots of ways which can be different for different people.

How has covid impacted on the Inscape program? Being in a hospital setting, initially we stopped our work so that we could figure it all out and make whatever changes we needed to. Now we’re back at it, wearing masks all the time, hand sanitizing and just getting on with the job!

What’s your dream project to work on? To be able to create music for public spaces that don’t normally have music in them. Music can have such a positive impact on people and this helps so much with positive social interactions. Music has such an impact on people’s moods and I’d love to be able to work on something that builds social cohesion.

What do you love doing outside work? Playing music and watching the Mighty Footscray (or you might know them as the Western Bulldogs!).

Where’s your favourite Hobart eatery? Chai restaurant in Mathers Lane, it’s small and not a lot of people know about it.

Drink of choice and where do you head for it? Definitely Cascade Export Stout at the Crescent Hotel.

I’d like to travel to… Hong Kong or Nigeria. I’ve wanted to visit these two places for a very long time and I have a family connection to Nigeria.

If I didn’t live in Hobart I’d live… In New Zealand.

Where to next? For me, next in my life is to be able to record more music. And from a work perspective I’d like to help expand the Inscape bedside music program.

Quote to live by? I have two. As I’m a teacher, my favorite quote is ‘Teaching is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of the fire.’ And I also love “A society grows great when people plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.

For more info on Inscape, what it does and how you can help, visit

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February 2024

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