How Schools Are Embracing Musical Play in the Great Outdoors

Many schools are now using outdoor play and learning as a way to engage their students in a natural environment. At Percussion Play, we have observed a 92% increase in orders from schools worldwide for our outdoor musical instruments compared to 2020, and we anticipate that this trend will persist.

We’ve recently helped an Elementary School in North Carolina bring music into the playground for 530 PK to Fifth Grade students to enjoy. Principal Carmen Montero Graf, Ed.D, first spotted the need to bring music into the playground for her students to enjoy 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 regularly was just too expensive. It got me thinking about 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.”

Case Study - East Garner Elementary School
Installed in July 2021, the Elementary School now boasts a range of musical instruments to experiment with including, Rainbow Sambas, Harmony Bells, Rainbow Chimes, the Talk Tube, Colossus Chimes, the Cavatina, and a Music Book to learn tunes from 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 and 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,” says Principal Graf. “I’m excited to see if we have any budding musicians and how we can help nurture their talent.”

Play is essential for children. It is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 31 states that children have a right to “join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities.”

Moving the classroom outside can help improve learning, but significantly, it can support a child’s social development. Playing musical instruments (as opposed to simply listening to music) is particularly important for human social development because music-making is fun and uses different skills that most people usually employ on a day-to-day basis. This means that making music is relaxing and can relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.

The benefits of music for children include:

• It encourages teamwork, self-confidence, empathy, improved communication skills, and intellectual curiosity

• Playing music accelerates the emotional development of children because children learn how to communicate with others

• Children who play musical instruments develop the ability to show compassion and empathy towards others and to have respect for other cultures

• Children who have had the opportunity to develop these skills and behaviors in early life often turn out to be happier, healthier, and higher-achieving adults

If you think that your students could benefit from our outdoor musical instruments, please Contact Us