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!

Music and Poetry - World Poetry Day

Poetry and music have been intertwined for thousands of years with artistic expressions being related, connected or inspired by the other. The two art forms possess certain similar elements, such as meter (a unit of rhythm in poetry) and rhyme, and so, across the years, many composers have been inspired by poetry, with some even setting these poems to music.

What makes a poem sound pleasing to the ear? A solid rhythm for one thing — something we know a good song also depends on. Ballads, or "story songs," have been around for centuries, many of the best known were sung first in the Middle Ages and the tradition continues today in modern songs. From the great Rogers and Hammerstein, to the Beatles and Bob Dylan, their finished works have become the gems that we now know, both musically and lyrically. We can also see the tight relationship between poetry and music if we examine children’s music, with many of the well-known nursery rhymes and songs rooted in poetry. Through these lyrics,...


Getting Musical on World Book Day 2020

In the UK and Ireland, today – 5th March 2020 - is the 23rd World Book Day!

World Book Day is a global celebration of writers, illustrators, bookmakers, and readers worldwide. More than that, it is a registered charity with a goal of eventually giving every child and young person a book of their own.

It is recognized in over 100 countries, most of whom celebrate the day on 23rd April. Here in the UK, however, children in schools, bookshops and beyond all over the country will be taking part in the event today: dressing up as favorite book characters, participating in activities, receiving book tokens and having lots of creative, imaginative, literary fun.

In the midst of all this creative buzz, then, what better time to get children outside and musical on the school playground?! Music and poetry have – since antiquity – been regarded as the sister arts, but music and stories are profoundly connected in their own way. Integrating children’s literature into music time or...


Snowdrops and Babel Drums in Bloom!

Snowdrops: Theirs is a fragile but hardy celebration … in the very teeth of winter – Louise Wilder

Earlier this week we took advantage of a rare sunny morning to take these photos of our Small Babel Drum installed next to a bank absolutely covered in pretty white snowdrops.

Snowdrops are the first call in a new year to step outside and visit a parkland or garden. After a long winter, their brilliant white petals and green leaves are a welcome sight and one of the first flowers of the year to come into bloom - a sign that the gardens are coming back to life.

What's not to love about these pretty white flowers? Their scientific name is Galanthus...


Connections between Love and Music

Extra-pricey bouquets of red roses, panic-purchase cards, chocolates, and romantic dinners - now heavily commercialised and laden with expectation, some could say that Valentine’s Day is losing a significant amount of its charm. Once a day where people simply showed their love and affection for another person, maybe an effort should be made to reclaim Valentine’s Day as a more inclusive celebration of all types of love. Self-love, platonic love, and love within families should be included within Valentine’s Day celebrations. All love deserves to be celebrated and expressed in a multitude of ways: with a hug, with a smile, with a timely visit, with surprises, and, of course, with music!

Music is so heavily connected with themes of love. Musicians love to sing about love and songs are used to express love in all forms – romantic love, love of friends and family, love for your sports team or community. Forget what you learned that the only human essentials are food, clothing, and...


Outdoor Musical Play & Children’s Mental Health Week 2020

We are almost halfway through ‘Children’s Mental Health Week 2020’: an awareness week launched by Place2Be in 2015 in an effort to ‘shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health’. Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity which has provided counselling and mental health support and training in almost 640 schools across the UK over the last five years.

Research has consistently demonstrated the positive impact of music and musical engagement on both mental health and child development. Likewise, the effects of exposure to green space, daylight and fresh air on mental and physical wellbeing have been proven to be similarly crucial. Access, therefore, to outdoor musical instruments is sure to maximise the benefits of both time spent outdoors and musical participation to provide an active solution for the improvement and maintenance of children’s mental health.

Outdoor musical instruments, particularly when installed in a nursery...


Let Musical Mindfulness be your New Year's Resolution for 2020

If you’re hoping to lower your stress levels in 2020, musical mindfulness could be exactly what you’re looking for.

The word mindfulness is everywhere lately — people are being urged to become more mindful as a way to calm themselves and find insight in this busy, fast-paced, tech-driven world. Have you ever arrived at work and realised that you don't remember anything about the journey there? Have you ever been talking with someone and realised that you haven’t heard a word they’ve said because you were distracted by something that had happened earlier or worrying about something later on? Or eaten a meal and not really tasted it? If you have (and I’m pretty sure we all have) then you’ll know what it is to be ‘unmindful’. In our modern world, it’s very easy to become ‘unmindful’ (distracted, unaware, inattentive, disengaged) where the mind becomes disconnected from what is happening, going into automatic pilot.

An increasing number of individuals, as well...