Welcome to the Percussion Play Blog

We hope you'll be a regular visitor as we share stories about the instruments we make and the people who play them.

This is where we share our passion for music in the great outdoors! We'll share with you details of exciting new outdoor music projects and designs from around the globe. We'll share with you information about the instruments we sell and a little about the inspiration behind them

Most importantly, this blog is about what we love to do the most - help you create new and exciting ways to bring music to the great outdoors.

Thank you for reading, visiting, commenting and contributing - we’re excited to have you here!

Celebrating The Music - 'Shakespeare 400'

“Shakespeare 400” is a year-long, worldwide celebration of the life of William Shakespeare and marking the 400th anniversary of his death in 1616. Music is central to the work of Shakespeare. The majority of his plays could be divided into one of three categories - comedy, tragedy and history with each genre requiring different emotions to be reflected in the music, to set the mood and add to the entertainment of the performance. Instrumental music, performed at the Globe by professional musicians, was an integral part of the drama of Shakespeare's plays: music evoked sleep, magic, madness, love, death, the passing of time. Music is capable of indicating to an audience a change of tone within the drama and Shakespeare realised this more than any other dramatist of his day.

Music generally played an important role in the lives of the people who lived during the Elizabethan era and it was the major form of entertainment. The popularity of stringed and keyboard instruments grew tremendously...

Are There Enough Playgrounds in the UK?

There are more than 16,000 playgrounds provided by district councils in England, but are there enough to serve the 11 million children aged under 15 nationwide? Well, those figures equate to around 690 children to each playground, so there’s clearly a problem here. What are the consequences of a society that doesn’t invest in play?

This report uses data from the England and Wales 2011 Census, Fair Play for Children’s survey of 326 local authorities and gov.uk.

Parish councils and privately or community-funded playgrounds are not included.

How Do Things Play out in Your Local Area? Search for your nearest parks with gov.uk – how many can you find in your area? We thought we’d try a little experiment. We checked our local area, managed by East Hampshire District Council.

East Hampshire District Council provides a grand total of 16 play areas in the region to serve (as of the 2011 census) over 20,000 children under 15 years old. That’s 1,250 children...

Music Activities: Schools' Autism Awareness Week

We’re coming to the end of the first ever National School Autism Awareness Week (14-18 March) led by the National Autistic Society. During the week schools have been encouraged to get involved in a wide variety of activities to raise autism awareness and equip a new generation with the knowledge to accept and empathise with autistic people.

There are at least 1 in 100 people in the UK with autism. Autism is a complex developmental disability which affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviours and is a ‘spectrum disorder’ that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.

Music and autism research supports the benefits that music and music therapy has on individuals with autism. The most compelling evidence lies in the areas of social and emotional communication, reduced anxiety, increased speech output and increased interaction with peers.

Autism and music do definitely go together and there...

​Report finds disabled children ‘being excluded from play’

Yesterday, the former Labour Home Secretary Lord Blunkett and the national deafblind charity, Sense, launched a national report, ‘The Case for Play’. The report revealed that play opportunities for the 570,000 disabled children in England and Wales and specifically the 100,000 with complex care needs, are failing at every level, resulting in these children missing out on play vital to their development.

Lord Blunkett found the report “both illuminating and thought-provoking” as it identifies a lack of attention by government, insufficient funding at a local level and negative attitudes towards disabled children and their families. It follows a three month public inquiry into the provision of play opportunities for disabled children aged 0-5 with multiple needs.

Sense, a national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who have sensory impairments and complex needs, are campaigning for changes to the way play services are designed and delivered and plans...

National Farm Attractions Network (NFAN) Members enjoy no-fail music making!

Percussion Play were delighted to join up with Rupert Oliver’s Ideas Factory to exhibit at this year’s National Farm Attraction Network annual conference and trade show.

With over 250 members, The National Farm Attractions Network (NFAN) originally started as a networking organisation. Now, as well as knowledge sharing and encouraging best practices, it keeps members up to date on the latest advice from HSE, represents the farm attraction industry at government meetings, provides ongoing support and guidance and runs regular member events such as open days, roadshows and workshops. The NFAN Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition is their biggest event of the year.

Rupert Oliver’s Ideas Factory specialise in designing and creating amazing indoor and outdoor play areas with quirky twists for farm parks and adventure parks such as Peppa Pig World, Cannon Hall Farm, Heads of Ayr Farm Park and Knockhatch Adventure Park to name just a few.

A day out at a Farm Park just isn’t...

Christmas music and songs - the oldest ones are the best!

This is the season when spades of cringe-worthy Christmas tunes are on constant rotation in supermarkets, department stores and coffee shops. It is virtually impossible to leave the house without hearing them - over six weeks of inescapable Christmas music!

The sounds of the season are pretty much the same from year to year: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree, Frosty the Snowman, Baby, It's Cold Outside, White Christmas, I could go on…..and on.

For some, these old chestnuts may inspire them and get them in the spirit of the season. For others, however, it may be too much, forcing them to make a fast exit, leaving their gingerbread lattes behind. I feel for the employees. The tunes created to get us in the Christmas spirit must become akin to Chinese water torture for them after the first week of November.

But for music, it’s actually a unique time of year when a radio playlist can span not only decades but centuries, what other season has its...