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 main purpose of the outdoor musical instruments was to prevent loneliness. However, it’s become clear since that the instruments can be used in many other contexts including physical exercise and therapy. The instruments are strategically placed so that they can be clearly seen from the public path that leads up to the garden, with the intention of attracting neighbours and curious passers-by to the care centre’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 of a number of 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 centre’s nearest neighbour is Poppellunden nursery and these young neighbours 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 a completely instinctive reaction for them. Because of this, it often mobilises them in ways that they probably don’t realise. 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 centre’s everyday life and they are frequently used by both outsiders and care centre residents. Care assistants accompany residents into the garden and use the instruments in rehabilitation work at the care centre.

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, and playing music together with family members, other residents or helpers, creates social interactions that can only have a positive impact on mental function, mood and overall well-being.”