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!

Why Outdoor Musical Instruments Are Not Just For Kids!

We’ve had some wonderful comments and photos of the outdoor instruments installed on Boscombe pier musical trail. Interestingly it seems the adults are enjoying them just as much as the children, always taking a casual glance around them first to see if anyone is watching before they start playing. I wonder why? Whoever said adults couldn't have fun in public? Children jump at the opportunity to make lots and lots of noise, learning how to create their own unique music, however what makes us adults hesitate first?

I've been told that improvisation can be more difficult as an adult. It can be hard for someone to open up and allow the ‘improv’ to come through. Similarly, adults usually find it more difficult than children to learn a new musical instrument, not because they haven’t got the ability, but often because they are more self-conscious about sounding like a beginner and making mistakes. On the other hand, children don’t have these negative thoughts in their minds, as...


Head Teachers Introduced to Outdoor Musical Instruments

Head teachers gave up a whole weekend of their precious leisure time to meet in Birmingham last weekend: why?

The NAHT Annual Conference is an opportunity for the UK’s leading educationalists to meet together and discuss and debate the current educational issues of real importance. It also provided the delegates with opportunities to network with each other and the conference sponsors.

One of the official sponsors of this year’s conference was Percussion Play distributor Pentagon Sport. Pentagon are experts in the design, supply and installation of outdoor learning environments and playgrounds in primary schools and nurseries across the UK. Visitors to the Pentagon stand were able to enjoy some of the instruments from Percussion Play and explore some rhythm on the Cadenza, generate some creativity, excitement and energy with the Congas and soothe away the stresses by playing the Babel Drum.

Pentagon wanted the opportunity to meet and engage with the conference delegates,...


Outdoor Musical Trail for Boscombe Pier

The resort of Boscombe lies just to the east of Bournemouth on the beautiful Dorset coast and will soon be home to the UK’s first multi-purpose Coastal Activity Park. Launching on 12th and 13th April the Park will offer a range of new leisure opportunities both on land and at sea for residents and visitors to Boscombe beach.

Percussion Play was asked to produce a musical trail along the Pier. Originally built in 1888, this is a pier that has seen both good and hard times. Having remained derelict for a number of years it reopened in 2008 following extensive renovation. Boscombe Pier is not the longest, shortest or oldest pier, but it has come to be known as Britain’s coolest. Now visitors will be able to take a stroll along to the end of Boscombe pier, see the surfers, take some photos and share some music making together whilst enjoying the sea air!

The trail consists of Bell Lyre, Harmony, Babel Drum, Tubular Bells and Tembos as well as some bespoke ‘Seaside Chimes’ –...


Using Outdoor Musical Instruments On World Book Day

In the UK and Ireland today is World Book Day!

World Book Day is a celebration of children’s books and reading and marked in over 100 countries around the globe – although in other countries World Book Day takes place at a different time of year (usually in April).

This is the 20th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 2nd March 2017 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Hundreds of schools and bookshops all over the UK and Ireland will be taking part. Books are such a fun springboard in to all sorts of activities, crafts, play and of course…..music! And now spring is just around the corner (oh please let it be so!), it’s the perfect time to step outside and put your outdoor musical instruments to excellent use.

We all know that birds are great singers but what kind of sound would a Gruffalo make? Or the Very Hungry Caterpillar munching his way from being tiny to growing big and fat. Or the BFG, stomping across the countryside? An outdoor...


Outdoor Musical Playgrounds - More Than Just Play

Outdoor Musical Instruments in the playground provide a non-threatening and fun outlet for creative and emotional expression and through the medium of music many essential life skills can be learned. Music can have a profound effect on anyone, but the benefits of exposing a child with special needs to music can be huge.

Socially, music is a great leveller. There is no right or wrong in music, so it holds no fear for children, who feel safe to experiment with self-expression. This leads to a sense of achievement and pride that may be difficult to find elsewhere, particularly for those with low levels of motivation. The subsequent increased self-esteem and confidence can then be transferred to other areas of their lives. Through music a child can express their emotions, develop a sense of rhythm (which will in turn support their physical development), develop their communication skills, benefit from auditory and tactile stimulation (through the vibrations of the music) and relax. Every...


Small and Perfectly Formed Play Area Outdoor Xylophones

Cadenzas are scaled down outdoor musical instruments perfect for one player and comfortable enough for two. As with all our instruments, the Cadenza is strong, weather-proof and durable. The Cadenza is available in three different styles.

First we have the 'Woden'. The notes of the Woden are made from a hardwood called Ipe. The ipe notes give a lovely rich mellow tone with a long sustain.

Next up is the 'Alumba'. The notes of the Alumba are made from GRP (glass reinforced plastic/fibreglass). The Alumba sounds sweet and produces bright and pure tones.

Finally, we have the Maya. The notes of the 'Maya' are made from aluminium. The Maya has quick and easy response and brilliant tone producing beautiful celestial sounds.

The notes on the Cadenzas are arranged as a traditional xylophone or glockenspiel with low to high notes going from left to right. There are no wires or strings as the notes are individually and securely attached to the resonators for maximum vibration with incredible...