Outdoor Musical Instruments
Senior Living Communities
Music 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 Made For The Great Outdoors
Accessible Sensory & Music Gardens
“One of our dementia residents has difficulty lifting one arm. When he first starts to play the outdoor xylophone he can barely lift his arm, yet before long he starts to lift it higher and higher, the effect can be seen after just a few minutes!”
Aars Elder Centre (Care Worker)
Being outdoors stimulates all of the senses; it awakens our connection with nature and with each other. Being outdoors shouldn’t end as mobility and other issues arise in older adults.
Outdoor musical instruments in well thought out, accessible gardens bring renewed opportunities for seniors to enjoy time outdoors, stepping outside to play tranquil music on the instruments can enrich the life of the senior resident in many ways - physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Beautifully designed surroundings lift the spirits and adding an outdoor musical instrument installed either as a centerpiece or in a quiet shady corner next to a bench or chair will offer both a sensory experience and a moment of reflection to wonderfully interrupt everyday life.
Physical Activity and Therapy (Therapeutic Recreation)
Senior’s activities are not just for filling up the hours of the day or to keep busy. They need to nurture the mind, body, and spirit. Music and music therapy can engage residents in new ways; music transforms the atmosphere and the effects ripple throughout the entire place.
Installing outdoor musical instruments will serve to motivate residents and provide opportunities for them to remain active. Moderate physical activity can be gained through playing a musical instrument; improving mobility, strength, and endurance. It will engage many different muscle groups, promoting hand strength, joint flexibility, and overall improvement of motor skills.
Active music-making has been found to provide a source of enhanced social cohesion, enjoyment, personal development, and empowerment, and while a “breath of fresh air” may just be an expression, the benefits of a little outdoor activity are in fact very real.
Music For Mood & Memory
Activity is essential to a person’s wellbeing and gives purpose and enjoyment to their day. Encouraging someone living with dementia to do something creative, some gentle exercise, or take part in an activity helps them to realize their potential, which improves their self-esteem while reducing agitation and any feelings of loneliness. One particular area of research is the effect of music on those with dementia or seniors at risk of isolation and depression. Playing music offers a number of mental health benefits. There is natural motivation, it’s rewarding, and it provides a sense of accomplishment. In addition, spending time outdoors absorbing sunlight has also been shown to improve mood, sleep, and decrease feelings of sadness.
Music enables people to be contributors and not just recipients of care. It provides opportunities for people to reconnect with a sense of autonomy and agency, at times when they may feel as though they have little or no control because of the impact of dementia.
People in the advanced stages of the disease can no longer speak or understand words, which can be very upsetting for family members – but music provides them with an alternative means of communication and is proven to be effective.
Music For Socialization
Lack of socialization is related to negative impacts on health and well-being, especially for older people. However, socialization must encompass more than physical presence or conversation. Outdoor musical instruments promote interaction, providing a wonderful way for seniors to engage with others while getting a little physical activity and spending some time outdoors. “My Grandson is learning drumming at school – he’ll certainly enjoy himself here!”
Paul, care home resident
Sharing the musical instruments with family, friends, and visitors will imbue a sense of community pride and ownership amongst the residents. Playing music is a multi-generational and fun experience, and playing music together with family members, other residents or helpers, creates social interactions that will have a positive impact on mental function, mood, and overall well-being. For many families, the external spaces are a key factor when considering moving elderly relatives. The garden tends to be a place where people can connect with each other in a more meaningful way and having musical instruments in the garden gives residents a reason to go outdoors, and then a reason to want to stay there once they’ve arrived, contributing to psychological and physical wellness whilst simply making life more fun!
“The way they look and the way they sound are interesting. They are easy to play with other people.” Doreen, a care home resident
Retirement Village Creates Denmark’s Largest Music Garden
Danish Retirement home Hesselvang has transformed its grounds to create a very special destination that will entice residents and staff outside into the fresh air for some outdoor musical fun.
Hesselvang is a newly built independent retirement home located in Hvalpsund, Denmark. Residents are encouraged to spend time outside and their appealing outside space features a beautiful garden full of scented flowers in the summer and will soon be filled with the sound of music following the creation of the country’s largest music garden!
Recognizing the many benefits of both time spent outdoors alongside active music-making, the friend’s association successfully applied for a grant to fund the creation of an outdoor music garden on the grounds. Hesselvang has weekly events and musical activities planned, inviting the residents to step outside together to try the different instruments, learn something new, support each other and have fun.
Keen they remain part of the wider local community, Hesselvang plans to host musical performances and ‘sing-alongs’ in their outdoor music space to not only help to increase awareness of the facility but to expand social connections for the residents and encourage multi-generational interactions. “Finally, the big day came when all the musical instruments arrived. We now have Denmark’s largest music garden attached to our nursing home! We are really looking forward to the warmer spring where we can really get out and make use of all the instruments.” Dorthe Bredtoft of Hesselvang’s Friends
Here are five great reasons how incorporating outdoor musical activities into everyday life, will enrich the lives of seniors living in retirement communities:
5 Reasons to Bring Music to Senior Living Communities
MUSIC IS GOOD FOR THE MIND Music engages areas of the brain which are involved with paying attention, making predictions, and updating events in our memory. Making music together and music therapy will help seniors process their thoughts, help dispel anxiety, frustration, or fear and help maintain memories.
MUSIC BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER Making music together in a group is very powerful and creates an experience of shared emotion. A communal outdoor music space will foster positive informal interactions and avoid social isolation by providing residents with opportunities to have fun together, learn something new, support each other and make friends – all in the fresh air!
MUSIC IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL We have such a deep connection to music because it is ‘hardwired’ in our brains and bodies. Music can lift our mood, can relax the mind, energize the body, and even help people better manage pain. The simplicity of these instruments and the instant musical success they provide will give a sense of accomplishment and increase self-esteem.
MUSIC MADE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS Being in nature boosts our energy levels, improves our circadian rhythm, encourages the production of serotonin, reduces stress, and simply makes us feel good. Spending just 30 minutes outside (even on cloudy days) gives the daily recommended dose of Vitamin D. Playing music outside provides exercise and stimulation, breaks up the monotony of the daily routine, and encourage people to stay outside for much longer than they would perhaps do normally, therefore maximizing the health benefits that being outside provides.
MUSIC IS A MOTIVATOR Easy-to-play outdoor musical instruments will facilitate cognitive function and coordinate motor movements. Placed in attractive outdoor settings residents will be motivated to step outside to play them, or for those with reduced mobility, benefits are still gained from small movements such as gripping and lifting the mallet and hitting those sweet notes!
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