Tuneful year for Music Well

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Chairman Stephen Clift, has the attention of the audience

The Annual General Meeting of The Music Well was held on November 8 in the Silver Room in the Kino, Lion Street. The Music Well provides music therapy sessions and musical activities such as drumming circles and singing groups for the promotion of health and well being in schools. Liz Butt who is the founder of the project also works with individuals.

from left Keith Osborne, Liz Butt and Eleni Tsolka
from right Keith Osborne, Liz Butt and Eleni Tsolka

There was a good turnout and Stephen Clift, chairman, introduced members of the project before starting the report about the past year in The Music Well. A new idea of using iPads with people with dementia was developed and the short film we saw showed how much individuals enjoyed using them. Keith Osborne who developed this particular programme goes to care centres to work with individuals. As one person said: “I remember lots of the songs and it’s lovely to be able to listen to them and join in.” A carer spoke, saying that being the carer can isolate you from the partner because she/he with the illness cannot really communicate in a meaningful way. However, with the IPad, which can be used at home, the partners can interact together again in a different way.

The well-being choir has performed in various venues around Rye including at last year’s Christmas festival and some of its members were in the audience agreeing that they really enjoy it, for themselves but also to give others joy. There are many other activities The Music Well provides.

Some of the Music Well activities
Some of the Music Well activities

Niki and Andy Stuart are very generous and allow their beautiful garden to be used, each year, to raise funds. In the summer of 2016 it was great fun listening to the well-being choir, the drumming, the Rye Ukulele Experiment and a small jazz band. About £600 was raised.

The Music Well is discussing a future project, engaging people who have breathing problems.  At the moment the directors have not yet decided where this would take place. The British Lung Foundation  made a short film (Sing for your lungs) which was shown. We saw a group singing ‘”Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. All those who participated had issues with breathing and when they started in the group none was able to sing. After 12 weeks of hard work they were able to render this song. Some were interviewed and agreed that coming to this group has helped them a lot, partly meeting new friends, having a laugh and one person said she was able to turn off her oxygen supply for a short time. As a last item all the previous directors were voted in again.

On November 19 the singing group will be performing for the U3A lunch and on November 20 at Magdala  House (Day Centre) in Ferry Road.

If you want to know more about The Music Well visit the website or phone 01797 227 994

One person who attended the AGM asked me if I could mention her future event which is on November 26 at 7:30. “Pensioners’ Got Talent”. It sounds rather fun. It takes place in O’Byrne Theatre at Claremont Preparatory School, Ebders Hill, Hastings. If you are interested in participating and are over 65 please contact Arabella Ansar:  OS15@claremontschool.co.uk

Photos: Heidi Foster

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