Helping children access music

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At a time like this, when parents are having to decide how much they can afford to spend on food, and schools are struggling to find ways to cover rising costs, music is inevitably going to be low down on the priority list. But it is very important that music –”brain food” as it is often called – is not neglected. There is no shortage of evidence about the benefits of music, both educational and for wellbeing, at all stages of our lives.

It is exciting to hear that efforts are being made in Rye to ensure that children in the local area, who would not normally have access to music, will soon be able to benefit from a range of services.

Two organisations, led by people with a passion for music and the benefits it brings are combining forces: The Music Well, established over 10 years ago by Liz Butt and Music Lifeline, set up by the treasurer of The Music Well. The Music Well provides music therapy and, among other things, offers opportunities for the elderly and others to enjoy singing together. Music Lifeline concentrates on enabling children of all ages to explore music and to learn an instrument.

The combined organisation will become a charity – called The Music Well (CIO) – and as well as running existing services will expand to provide music workshops for pre-school and school age children that will be fun as well as educational and life enhancing. One 8-year-old child with ASD who receives help from The Music Well, said “Music is my magic medicine”

Music Lifeline (see earlier article appealing for instruments) will continue to add to its bank of instruments for children to borrow free of charge. Thanks to many generous donations, a special storage space has been set up to house a wide range of instruments.

How can you help?

“If children are not introduced to music at an early age I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them.” Luciano Pavarotti.

If you’d like to join in there is much to do.  The team has been expanded and we have new trustees, but we need more as well as music practitioners. Do get in touch if you would like to get involved – enquiries@themusicwell.org.uk.

Also, if you have any instruments in the attic, you don’t use, please contact musiclifelinerye@gmail.com.

A new website is currently being built in which we will announce the date of our relaunch in the new year.

Image Credits: The Music Well , Musiclifeline , Marian Ham .

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