Music For The Great Outdoors
Music Made For The Great Outdoors Percussion Play are the world’s leading manufacturer of outdoor musical instruments. Designed with durability in mind, we are committed to making musical expression accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Music & Reading Gardens
Libraries fuel inspiration, and the inclusion of intergenerational programming involving active music-making within their key asset - outdoor space - will ensure libraries fulfill their missions to effectively serve patrons while breathing musical life back into every corner of the USA . Over the past few years, we have worked with a number of forward-facing, transformative libraries of all scales and in all climates, who have utilized their outdoor spaces to create inspirational music gardens and courtyards that provide equity of access to participative music-making within their communities. With the future of music and the arts under threat, libraries may hold the key to securing its long-term availability and in turn become the new champions of music for the young and the young at heart. A music garden can become a special place within the community, a place where friendships are forged, people can develop or learn new skills, and performances can be held. Making music brings people together like nothing else and offering quality musical opportunities - on real instruments – for spontaneous music-making - provides a gateway to the performing arts as well as an engaging family learning experience.

North Mankato Taylor Library, MN
“We are excited to bring this fun, bright addition to North Mankato for residents to enjoy.” Katie Heintz
Library Director for the City of North Mankato North Mankato Taylor Library used an Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund grant to create their new Music Garden, and now utilize the musical instruments within their interactive children’s programming to include music-making outdoors.
“We are grateful to the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund for the grant that made this project possible”, says Katie Heintz, Library Director for the City of North Mankato. Outdoor musical instruments are a wonderful way to increase the cultural capacity and community profile of libraries and encourage new patrons and visitors to join, especially young people and families. Recognizing the benefits that music has on early literacy development, creating a music and reading garden can help libraries extend their programming to include music-making for young children. Opportunities for playing with sound and rhythm outdoors helps promote language acquisition, listening skills, memory, and motor skills.
Sherman Public Library, TX Sherman Public Library recently transformed their outdoor space to create a ‘Harmony Music Park’ to integrate music-making into the everyday experience of the community and break down barriers between people and cultures.
Originally planning an outdoor space for their employees, the Library quickly expanded the idea and created a space the whole city could enjoy. The instruments - colorful Conga Drums, a Rainbow Cavatina, and Sansa Rimba outdoor xylophone and ‘Tembos’ aerophones - offer serendipitous encounters for music and sound exploration while encouraging impromptu community interactions.
Performing at the grand opening, Cara Wildman, an experienced and well-respected international percussionist said “I think the outdoor musical instruments from Percussion Play are amazing and I’m SO happy the library added them to the park! I think this will be a great community space and I hope that many people will use the instruments and let free their creative spirit that adults often suppress. I’ve really enjoyed the instruments myself!”
Sherman joins a host of libraries experimenting with music as a new way to engage the public while fulfilling their missions and effectively serve their communities.

White Plains Library, NY
What was once a dreary slab of concrete outside of the White Plains Library is now a calm, inviting open space – a green oasis in one of the busiest sections of the city - that features gardens, benches, trees, energy-efficient lighting, and outdoor musical instruments. The new plaza welcomes commuters, jurors, court workers, and library patrons to take a stroll and a breath of fresh air, enjoy lunch and relax by playing music on the Bell Lyre, Pentatonic Symphony Freechimes, and Emperor Chimes.

“It is so great that this space has been re-envisioned.” Paul Schwarz
Library Board of Trustees President To create a sensory experience for young children, a “discovery garden”, managed by the library, was created with a variety of plantings and objects that appeal to all five senses including herbs, lavenders and ornamental trees. The contemporary outdoor instruments chosen are sculptural, creative, and intended for all musical abilities and ages.
“With the renovation project, this space has been completely transformed. The city’s goal was to enhance this space so that the public, whether they were office workers from nearby buildings, patrons of the library, residents, members of the public, young or old would feel welcome and comfortable here.” Karen Pasquale, senior advisor to White Plains Mayor.

Pickerington Public Library, OH
Pickerington Public Library (PPL) is determined to stay ahead of the curve and the creation of the Music Garden back in 2019 was another extension that makes the PPL a modern community resource for all ages.
“We’re striving to be an industry leader for libraries,” Tony Howard, Director of PPL says. “Over the decades, libraries have changed. This is everyone’s librar y.”
Since creating their Music Garden, the Pickerington Public Library (PPL) have integrated the musical instruments into many of their programs including early literacy programs; Beyond Abilities, learning opportunities for adults with disabilities; and Sensory Stories and Play, an early literacy class specifically designed for children with special needs.
“The Music Garden has enhanced these programs,” says Colleen Bauman, Community Engagement Manager for PPL.
“Research shows that music can enhance fine and gross motor skills, support social and emotional development, improve spatial-temporal awareness, and build language literacy skills,” Howard says.

However the Music Garden isn’t just for library programs, it’s also a resource for pure joy.
Bauman has witnessed groups of teens showing off their musical abilities, and Howard says he often sees parents and kids out there enjoying the instruments regardless of the weather. Howard and Bauman say it’s also a great stress reliever.
“When you walk over and you just tap on that drum, you leave the worries of the day behind,” Howard says. “It may be five minutes of forgetting about the world and just enjoying what you’re doing.”
“It’s fun, it’s just fun,” Bauman adds. “There is a release that you feel any time you play a musical instrument.”

5 Reasons to Create an Outdoor Music Space at your Library
Outdoor musical instruments can be used to integrate children’s literature into music time by adding songs and sound effects to the stories and acting them out and awaken the imaginations. For children who may struggle with reading, or see it as more of a challenge – what a great way to draw the fun out of books and inspire a fresh, exciting way to engage with them : finding the melodies between the words! A space where people of all ages and abilities can come to create music together. Music can bring a diverse group of people together in the community simply because it transcends language limitations - providing its own language of rhythm and melody to enable its players and users to communicate with each other non-verbally. An invitation to experience the outdoors in a new and fascinating way, encouraging people of all ages and abilities to step outside into the fresh air and find a little harmony. Playing music helps to improve concentration, increases mobility and coordination, it reduces tension and promotes relaxation - plus the added benefits of being in the fresh air!
Music ignites all areas of child development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. Few things stimulate the brain the way music does, the body and mind must work together. Making music develops important skills essential for success in life, such as concentration, confidence, and self-esteem. Music sessions can be tailored to look specifically at language, listening skills, or turn taking. The use of the pentatonic scale in many of the instruments addresses feelings of inadequacy by being so simple and easy to play; just play around and never hit anything inordinately dissonant in a safe musical haven. The technique is not a problem, given the simplicity of the instruments. Dissonance is not a problem, given the pentatonic scale – perfect for beginners and reluctant players.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
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