Outdoor Musical Instruments
International Early Years Curriculum
Music for Mini Maestros
Percussion Play have created a dynamic range of outdoor musical instruments that foster creative playfulness. Our aim is to make music accessible to people from all backgrounds, with all abilities, and encourage music-making in the great outdoors. Here the focus is on our youngest players and the benefits that musical play can provide to their learning and development.
Musical instruments within the learning environment encourage improvised play, provide an outlet for creative expression, and are an open-ended resource with numerous uses. For example, while playing a xylophone helps children hear the different musical notes in a scale, they are also developing their active listening skills. Using a mallet to strike the chimes helps the child to develop motor skills, and color recognition can be explored using the multicolored heads of the drums. With a little imagination, the possibilities are endless!
The many skills developed during this discovery learning time are then put to use during more focused, classroom-based tasks.
Alongside free play, outdoor instruments can be used with an adult for more directed learning. Many of the instruments we manufacture are tuned to the Pentatonic scale, favored for musical teaching methods pioneered by Orff and Kodaly.
Pentatonic tuning means that there are no ‘wrong’ notes. Players can improvise with the order and combination of notes without creating any dissonant tones. This feature means that young players, or those with little musical experience, can explore safely and build their self-esteem as well as their knowledge.
Creating areas for music and sound exploration inside and out will help integrate music into the everyday experience of the children in a Kindergarten or Nursery.
“The new musical instruments have added great educational value to the playground.”
Owner, Zuma Zoo Daycare, IA.
Music Made For The Great Outdoors
It is well documented that exposure to nature and the great outdoors is the best way maintain or improve our overall health and wellbeing. Incorporating music into your outdoor classroom and/or playground is a great way to subtly integrate music and ‘outdoor time’ into a child’s everyday school experience. Here are some benefits from using music to connect children with nature;
Lack of exposure to green outdoor space is known to have an impact on children’s health and can lead to nature deficit disorder. By encouraging free play and exploration in the great outdoors, we can help encourage more time spent outside. Children often feel less inhibited outdoors and musical playground equipment will help introduce basic musical concepts whilst being sure that the focus is on the fun. The introduction of an outdoor musical space or trail as part of an international school’s outdoor education program will help children discover the joy and empowerment of music-making while reaping the benefits of time in the natural environment. Outdoor learning encourages childrens creativity, builds their attention spans, and increases their desire to explore.
Discover Outdoor Musical Instruments Internationally
Percussion Play send outdoor musical instruments all over the world from our workshop here in Hampshire. We work with schools, charities, care homes, farm parks, museums, open gardens, hospitals, churches, and libraries to name just a few. Here are some of the continents where our instruments can be discovered;
The Rainbow Collection
We have created a range of bright, enticing instruments with young players in mind. This collection is designed to help young minds learn the fundamentals of music in a fun and exciting way. Most of the instruments within the Rainbow Collection feature individually colored notes tuned to a simple musical scale, helping even the youngest players experiment with musical concepts and familiar tunes. Rainbow Trio Ensemble
The perfect starting point for any Kindergarten musical learning area is the Rainbow Trio Ensemble. Three instruments chosen to offer rhythm and melody, these elements can be enjoyed separately or played together. Pentatonic tuning ensures that the notes sound harmonious played in any order or combination - perfect for encouraging musical experimentation.
The Rainbow Collection
Carefully scaled for younger players, the Rainbow Trio may be smaller in size but features the same high-quality materials used to construct our other instruments.
The Trio is made up of the resonant Rainbow Chimes
, the Rainbow Metallophone with its bright, cheerful tones, plus the Rainbow Bongos to keep the beat. These instruments are played with hands and with mallets, helping children develop their gross motor movements and finer dexterity that later translates into skills like spatial awareness and pencil control.
With the option to install into the ground, onto an existing surface or onto a wall, the Rainbow Trio is versatile enough to suit outdoor or indoor learning environments of varying size. “Not only are they colourful and accessible height-wise for children, the quality of the instruments is outstanding, meaning they make a fantastic sound.”
NZ Registered Music Therapist
The Calypso Chimes are practical, durable, and stylish with a wonderful melody and sustain that will liven up any outdoor area. Available as eight individual chimes, in three pre-set arrangements, or even four chimes mounted to a single post to create a Calypso Quatro post
Whether you are looking for solo chimes to place sporadically around your outdoor area to add a colorful musical sound wherever you go, a fun pentatonic set for sensory play, or a diatonic arrangement around which outdoor lessons and concerts can be played, Calypso Chimes can be adapted to suit all.
The Rainbow Collection
The Cavatina is arranged like a traditional xylophone or glockenspiel with low to high notes going from left to right. Diatonically tuned, its versatility provides a vast range of expression suited to beginners.
The vibrantly colored anodized notes are set to our rainbow scale and can be combined with one of our Music Books where the notes on the instruments correspond with the colored notes on the music sheets. Making music has never been as easy - players can simply follow the colors to play a well-known song.
The Penta Post is a cluster of five rainbow-colored chimes that are small, compact, and visually striking - resulting in the perfect music ‘stop’ for early years settings within international schools.
Being tuned to the pentatonic scale means that there are no wrong notes - children can just play around and never hit anything inordinately dissonant. Penta post
The Rainbow Collection
Inspired By Nature
These new larger-than-life Petal Drums inspired by the natural world will be sure to create a striking focal point. With designs based on the Sunflower, Forget-Me-Not, Daisy, and Poppy these curvaceous Petal Drums are charmingly simple, instantly recognizable, and sure to brighten up outdoor spaces through the winter months and beyond.
Playing your Petal Drum could not be easier and anyone of any age, or any musical ability can play them. They require no training – it is as simple as picking up a mallet, striking the notes and beginning to create beautiful music in the great outdoors. A smart choice if you are wanted to add a sensory and inclusive dynamic to your outdoor space or playground.
Our ‘blooming’ marvelous collection of Harmony Bells are inspired by nature and tuned to uplifting major and minor chords.
Visually stimulating and colorful, each ‘flower’ is made of four bells of decreasing size and ascending pitch. Ideal for interactive playscapes they’ll arouse a sense of intrigue and encourage children into the pursuit of music-making in the great outdoors.
These eye-catching musical flowers are available individually or in a major or minor ‘posy’ of three. Harmony Flowers make colorful additions to outdoor learning spaces and make another ideal choice for budding musicians. The perfect compliment to a sensory garden, the shapes and sounds will spark imagination and inspire children musically.
Reasons to Create an Outdoor Music Space
Children can express their emotions, develop a sense of rhythm (which will, in turn support their physical development) whilst expanding their listening and communication skills.
Outdoor musical play is great for building a child’s body awareness and improving core stability. Outdoor musical instruments can help prevent Nature-Deficit Disorder by encouraging more time spent in the great outdoors.
Offers opportunities for children to discover ways to express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings, and improvising with music is a wonderful way to foster open-ended play.
Introduces a variety of instruments, languages, clothing, and celebrations from places across the world and is a powerful vehicle for storytelling and upholding traditions. Helps to develop emotional intelligence and enables children to recognize emotions. Here are some of the benefits to creating an outdoor musical space;
Designing a Music Garden
Our online Knowledge Base hosts resources and articles to help you get started, and we offer advice and guidance without cost or obligation.
Designing a Music Garden from scratch may seem like a daunting task - but we are here to support you throughout the process.
Why not take a look at our Case Studies page
? Here, you can gather inspiration from a wide range of projects featuring outdoor instruments.
You are welcome to send us a photo of the space you are considering, and we can drop images of the instruments into it. This is a useful tool when sharing your vision with others, and is especially helpful when fundraising.
Global Sales & Manufacturing
Percussion Play Ltd
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USA/CAN: +1 (866) 882-9170
ROW: +44 1730 235180 TM
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