East Garner Elementary School Takes Music (and other) Lessons Outside

Classrooms have diversified during the Covid-19 pandemic with educators looking for new ways to teach their students. Many are choosing to head out of the classroom and the Principal of the East Garner Elementary School, Carmen Montero Graf, Ed.D., is one of them. Students are now regularly playing music both during lessons and recess in their newly installed outdoor musical playground and the school is already counting the benefits.

Principal Graf first spotted the need to bring music into the playground for her 530 PK to Fifth Grade students to enjoy, back in Spring 2020.

Principal Graf says; “I was at the local Science Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina and noted that bringing our students to interact with the exhibitions on a regular basis was just too expensive. It got me thinking as to how I can bring engaging and inspiring concepts, such as musical instruments, to the school for the kids to use every day. A quick Google search led me to Percussion Play’s range of outdoor musical instruments which seemed the perfect fit.”

Installed in July 2021, the Elementary School now boasts a range of musical instruments to experiment with including, Rainbow Sambas, Harmony Bells, Rainbow Chimes, Talk Tubes, Colossus Chimes, Rainbow Cavatina, and a Music Book to learn tunes from.

The school plans to use the new outdoor music area across the curriculum, with students using and exploring music to can find natural connections to mathematics, science, reading, writing, and performing arts.

Principal Graf comments on the impact the instruments have had on her students; “If I have to sum up the impact in one word, it would be inquisitive. Watching the children play, then figure out how the instrument works gives me a huge sense of pride. We’ve also seen a decrease in disciplinary issues since we had the instruments installed, I think mainly because it keeps the kids busy learning in recess when they don’t even know that they’re still learning! The instruments are beneficial to both our students and teachers!”

Principal Graf continues “Our new Music Teacher at East Garner Elementary School will be taking lots of lessons in the playground using the new instruments this year. I’m excited to see if we have any budding musicians and how we can help nurture their talent.”