Pupils Vote for, Measure, Stake and Dig for their New Outdoor Music Area

Pupils from Flauenskjold School got fully involved in the creation of their new music garden. They used their math skills to measure the area and stake out where the instruments should go. They then got stuck in and dug out the allocated area prior to the arrival and installation of the outdoor musical instruments.

Flauenskjold school is a small village school in Denmark’s North Jutland region that caters for approx. 85 students. It is a school that receives great support from parents and the local community.

The initial idea of creating an area in the school grounds for outdoor musical instruments started with the music teacher Julie Aen. She wanted to increase the children's creativity and arouse their musical curiosity to create and play music both during lessons and in recess. The school agreed and with the help of Percussion Play Denmark, as well as the local community, the city's support association, and the Nordea Foundation - who each contributed financially - plans for a colorful music garden began to take shape.

The children voted for the instruments they would most like to see installed in their new music garden, and due to their bright colors, tone, and playability they chose the Calypso Chimes and Rainbow Cavatina with Music Book from Percussion Play.

Once the instruments were received, another initiative to involve the children and support their learning took place. “We think it was very important that the children were involved in the process so that they could gain ownership of the instruments and take good care of them. At the same time, it was an obvious opportunity for us to include practical mathematics for the students. So in collaboration with the school janitors, we had a working day where we measured out, marked where the instruments should stand, and then the hard work of digging began. The school janitor assembled and cast the instruments and when it was all ready we had a small inauguration ceremony to great cheers.”

The instruments have already proved to be very popular with the children and they love the fact that they can enjoy them between class during break times as well as in lessons. Every break at school, we can hear the children playing on the new instruments. We chose the Cavatina xylophone with an accompanying Music Book so that the students could play familiar melodies together. We also chose eight colorful diatonic Calypso Chimes, which match the colors and are tuned the same way as Rainbow Cavatina and notes in the Music Book.”

By combining these instruments up to ten children can be playing at any one time and, as they are diatonically tuned, their versatility provides a vast range of musical expression suited to beginners and more experienced musicians alike. Colors are easy for most young children to recognize and differentiate between, however, the standard colors of musical notation are black and white, which when first introducing music and music reading to young children can be challenging for them to recognize patterns and organize the content visually. Sound and color fit together, and most minds draw intensely vivid connections between the two. For this reason, color can be a helpful tool when teaching music and developing music-reading skills to young children.

The school can now use the outdoor music space to get students into the fresh air while also improving the musical curriculum experience.

“We are so excited about our colorful outdoor instruments from Percussion Play. They bring life, color, and lots of musical joy!”