Our monthly music sessions are facilitated by Al Summers, a professional musician / teacher, and Ray Bradfield, a professional songwriter. We are very fortunate that Doorway owns a highly professional set of musical equipment. 

“Coming to the music workshops has got me through the bad times, and brought back the good times.” Doorway guest

 “To facilitate music for people who’ve lost their way is an act of love for which I’m constantly grateful.” Doorway guest

Aims and objectives of the sessions:

  • Through music, to engage with guests who find it hard to express themselves in words.
  • To encourage self expression and thus to increase self-esteem.
  • To encourage team work and mutual respect.

“Thanks to Al and Ray for giving me a chance and believing in my potential.” Doorway guest

Music Workshop Report by Al Summers, Facilitator:

My thoughts for the last year focus upon what music can do for people. Sometimes at Doorway a small moment can illustrate this so well. A sudden moment of musical understanding seems often to open up so many other possibilities in someone’s life.

There have been several examples this year of finding they can do something that seemed impossible just an hour or so before. The knock on effect of this can be extraordinary, of course.

The sessions are creative so what goes on is an expression of the musicians (whether they are complete beginners or accomplished players). Music is the language we use; words are secondary; communication is very effective. Two guests have told me that music sessions at Doorway are the best thing they do in their lives.

The music can be funny, loud, quiet, exciting, gentle, angry, joyful, sad, calming… It is often accompanied by a caring community atmosphere where occasional mutual encouragement can mean so much. Just what goes on anywhere between people on any day really, but it frequently becomes more intense and wonderful in that couple of hours.

The music sessions are stress-busting and life-affirming. Anxiety levels go down while confidence builds. Buried emotions are allowed expression in a safe environment.”

 “The drop-in music sessions are principally about friendship. Those who come to them show tolerance, support for others, encouragement for anyone who attempts to join in and a genuine and unforced humility. It’s like a big group hug where music is the catalyst that unlocks the best in human interactions. The atmosphere after a session is so overwhelmingly positive it’s tangible!” Ray Bradbury, Music workshop facilitator