Elder Care Centre Invite Music and Children Into Their Garden

New musical garden aims to bring generations together and build community.

Client: Trollemose Elderly Care Centre Location: Svendborg, Denmark

Percussion Play Denmark was asked to create an interactive musical garden for elderly residents, visitors, and local children to enjoy together.

The primary purpose of the outdoor musical instruments was to prevent loneliness. However, it’s become clear that the instruments can be used in many other contexts, including physical exercise and therapy. The instruments are strategically placed so they can be seen from the public path leading up to the garden to attract neighbors and curious passers-by to the care center’s garden. “When an outsider comes and starts playing music, the residents also come out and look because they find it interesting, and it’s a great opportunity to meet people,” says Care Centre Manager Agnete Bille.

The Care Home installed several Percussion Play instruments, including:

Cadenza – Small Curved Outdoor Xylophone

Grand Marimba – Substantial Marimba Producing Deep Tones

Duo – Outdoor Xylophone For Up To 4 Players

Babel Drums – Outdoor Stainless Steel Tongue Drum

The care center’s nearest neighbor is Poppellunden nursery, and these young neighbors regularly pop in to play on the new outdoor musical instruments. Children from other nurseries in the area do the same. “Something magical happens when the children and older people meet,” she says.

The older people are very keen to help the children. It’s an entirely instinctive reaction for them. Because of this, it often mobilizes them in ways that they probably don’t realize. It’s only been a couple of months since Trollemose Care Centre received the outdoor musical instruments, but they’ve already become a part of the center’s everyday life, and both outsiders and care center residents frequently use them. Care assistants accompany residents into the garden and use the instruments in rehabilitation work at the care center.

Lars Hansen of Percussion Play Denmark says, “We hope that by sharing the musical instruments with family, friends, and visitors, a sense of community pride and ownership will occur amongst the residents. Playing music is a multi-generational and fun experience. Playing music with family members, other residents, or helpers creates social interactions that can only positively impact mental function, mood, and overall well-being.”