Big Beach Day September 2016: Health Promotion Service outreach and workshop event
This year’s Big Beach Day took place on the vast sands of Polzeath beach on a breezy yet summery day.
Ruth Boulton ran an on-beach music therapy group session supported by CMTT for over 30 adults with their support workers. Other Activities included surf therapy, drumming, fit-to-wiggle and Sanjay’s wonderfully delicious & nutritious BBQ. Watermelon quenched our thirst whilst the atmosphere whetted everyone’s appetites for taking part. The event was buzzing – so many people attended and from as far afield as the John Daniel Centre Penzance, bringing the beach to life with community, experiences, energy and that magic ingredient – inclusivity.
“I set up an array of instruments on beach mats next to the information and surf therapy gazebos, wondering if this would attract much attention. A few helpers joined me in ‘advertising’ the group, taking instruments around. Then a ‘tide’ of people arrived and gathered expectantly. I sang hello to each person in turn, enjoying the solidly audible rhythm one man set going. It was perhaps random – but like the surroundings – impromptu, improvisatory and exciting. One visually impaired man stated, “music gets us all together” – exactly what was simultaneously happening through people gathering and also responding to the beat. There were ‘waves’ of group cohesion and rivulets or tributaries of individual expression which found their own pathway into the musical ‘seascape’. I wove in and out of vocal exchanges, inspired by the immediacy and unhindered route that raw, musical improvisation takes between the new and expectant dialogue of previously unintroduced people. By the end, curious support workers moved forwards to explore more instruments, with one commenting of the xylophone “it’s like a dream – dream music”.
All good things benefit all those involved and I was reminded of this as I sensed the vastness of the seascape and the myriad encounters I had shared that day. Life’s a beach!”