The Music Well provides music therapy and musical activities in the community and educational settings in Rye, Bexhill, Rother and Hastings & St Leonards. The aim is to improve outcomes for vulnerable families and individuals and promote positive mental health and well-being for all age groups, making a difference to lives in the community. 

This approach is especially beneficial to people who may struggle with talking therapy which can be a challenge for people with complex learning needs, adults and young people alike, when communication development is delayed through trauma and cognitive conditions. 

Background

Founded in 2010 by music therapist Liz Butt, it initially delivered dedicated music therapy to target groups with diagnosed complex needs. Liz recognised there was a gap in providing therapeutic music for wellbeing to more generic groups who would benefit and realised the importance of music for wellbeing reaching a wider audience. 

She began incorporating musical facilitators to offer group sessions within community and education and the Music
Well expanded its delivery to include drum circles, singing for wellbeing, gong baths and music workshops within care homes and day centres. Like most people working in the therapeutic area Liz has fond memories of success, recalling how one seven-year-old boy told her once: “My music is my magic medicine.” 

Currently the Music Well runs a children’s singing group, an adult wellbeing singing group, drumming group, meditation and music appreciation sessions (online and face to face) as well as the 1-2-1 sessions for more complex needs. It also runs Breath Apart, singing videos on YouTube for people with breathing difficulties such as COPD, emphysema and similar lung conditions. 

Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival

The Music Well has worked in partnership with the Rye Jazz & Blues Festival, over the past three years and are their non-profit making organisation of choice. Their attendance at the events, shaking buckets and providing more information on their provision being offered has resulted in more exposure and some excellent fundraising for this small community interest company. 

Currently

The Music Well originated in Rye and for some time the provision concentrated in Rye and rural Rother. During the pandemic, it continued to offer a service to those who needed it most; sessions were taken online which had the positive impact of reaching a wider audience, expanding to offer fortnightly percussion groups and twice weekly meditation. Talking of drumming, Liz says: “It coordinates people in a most amazing way if they are all on the same beat.”

It has continued to develop its offer within the Hastings & St Leonards community and now provides music therapy in education in the newly opened Flagship specialist school on the Ridge; it will focus on developing further partnership work with other schools and community groups within the Hastings & St Leonards. As one of the
music therapists, Yair Katz, says of his work, it is “wonderful, at times challenging, but always rewarding”.

Responding to the impact of the pandemic and the significant increases in levels of anxiety and depression, the Music Well has recognised the need for further mental health provisions within the community. They have spent the last year tirelessly raising funds to develop more provision in these times
of crisis. 

Music Well is currently looking for volunteer directors to help with the running of the organisation. Anyone interested in knowing more about the work of the Music Well or would like to get involved can phone 01797 223920, email [email protected] or visit themusicwell.org.uk


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