Knowledge Base

Welcome to the Percussion Play online knowledge base which hosts a collection of articles and features surrounding the benefits of music and outdoor musical instruments to help you find the information you need right now.

With interest in outdoor musical instruments growing internationally, Percussion Play aims to help its customers stay up to speed through its guides, best practice advice, resources, blog, and social media sites. Be sure to keep checking in as the library grows.

With the Future of Music Education Under Threat - Could Libraries Be the New Champions of Music?

Over the past few years, we have worked with a number of forward-facing, transformative libraries of all scales and in all climates, who have utilized their outdoor spaces to create inspirational music gardens and courtyards that provide equity of access to participative music-making within their communities.

With the future of music education and the arts under threat, libraries may hold the key to securing its long-term availability and in turn, become the new champions of music for the young and the young at heart.


'Pocket Music Parks' are Keeping the Arts Alive Some Cities

Many people do not have access to musical instruments on a regular basis, so it’s an exciting possibility to be able to bring music-making on real instruments to people in the public spaces where they live, work, and commute. Everyday locations can become inclusive, inspiring, and musically creative environments accessible to all members of the community.


Positive Effects of Family Bonding Through Playing Music Together

Great family connections and having fun together can have such an incredibly positive impact on the development of our children - socially, emotionally, and cognitively. More than that, it can actually also be profoundly helpful for our relationships with each other - children and adults alike. What better way, then, to spend some good old-fashioned fun and creative quality time with the whole family than by playing music altogether?

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Providing musical experiences for family audiences is a valuable way to advance a thriving museum’s mission, expand its audience, and strengthen its place within the community

Making music brings people together like nothing else and offering quality musical opportunities - on real instruments – for spontaneous music-making, provides a gateway to the performing arts as well as an engaging family learning experience.

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Including Music in Continuous Provision

Written by Kate Mannerings

Kate joined the Percussion Play team having come from a background in Early Years education. She has written a series of articles intended to support practitioners within early years settings. Here she has shared her ideas and thoughts on how musical instruments can be made available as continuous provision without the need to issue ear defenders!

With the benefits of music within continuous provision being so numerous, it would be a shame not to include the resources in our everyday environment. With the proper demonstration, clever positioning of instruments, and the opportunity for children to revisit the skills they have learned, musical discovery play can be both fun and harmonious.


Outdoor Musical Instruments Help in The Race to Prevent Nature-Deficit Disorder

The concern about children spending too much time indoors has become so great that it has been given its own term - ‘Nature deficit disorder’ or NDD. Although it's not a recognized medical condition, concerns about its effects on young people’s wellbeing are attracting widespread attention.

There is too much at stake to simply to accept the situation as an inevitable consequence of modernity and it's the joint responsibility of parents, educators, and urban planners to help this ‘indoor generation’ to easily and safely spend more time outside, reconnecting with the natural world - wherever they are located. Watching a class of children playing outdoor instruments prove that, when presented with the opportunity, life outdoors is still something children benefit greatly from and, more importantly, enjoy.


Making Play Limitless – Music in Open Ended Play

Written by Kate Mannerings

Kate joined the Percussion Play team having come from a background in Early Years education. She has written a series of articles intended to support practitioners within early years settings. Here she has shared her ideas and thoughts on how musical play has endless scope for improvisation and learning through play.


Using Musical Instruments to Improve Core Stability

Written by Kate Mannerings

Kate joined the Percussion Play team having come from a background in Early Years education. Intended to support practitioners within early years settings, she has shared her ideas and thoughts on how outdoor musical instruments can be used to aid the development of physical skills, as well as to support communication, encourage expression and build self-esteem.

It’s that time of year again. You’re faced with a new cohort filled with unknown personalities, abilities, and skills. Where do you start? And more importantly, are they ready?

Outdoor music can be a useful tool to aid the development of physical skills, as well as being proven to support communication, encourage expression, and build self-esteem.


Music Solutions & Tips For Your Outdoor Music Area

The good news is that it doesn't have to be complicated or too expensive to add music to your outdoor space. This article gives seven ways to easily add music or provide musical solutions for your inclusive outdoor area

For Darker Areas or Where Space is Limited

Our Mirror Chimes will reflect light, the surrounding environment as well as the players for an added fun element, visual stimulation, and promote self-awareness. What a ‘bright’ idea! Great for a courtyard garden or sensory area. Arranged in the pentatonic c-major scale (C3-C5) their universal mounting brackets allow them to be fixed to virtually any surface. Read More...

Teaching Children About the World Through Music

It is important to begin teaching children diversity throughout their early childhood, to promote socialization, tolerance, respect, care, and openness. Music, as an essential element of culture, is an excellent place to begin early discussions about diversity and inclusion.


The Expression of Emotion Through Music

Occasionally it can be hard to express our emotions verbally, we find ourselves unable to find the ‘right’ words to say how we really feel and this can be particularly difficult for children and young people. Music can give children a way to express themselves, to unleash their creativity, to be inspired and uplifted, to relax, and to relieve stress and tension.


Let’s Explore The Magical Pentatonic Scale For Early Years

Music makes a unique contribution to playful learning with fun interactive music activities encouraging infants to develop new skills in language, motor abilities, and cognitive skills. Approached in the right way, music time should encourage them to take risks and make mistakes, quietly promoting self-confidence, spontaneity, creativity, and originality.

The pentatonic scale is excellent for improvised ensembles; you can just play around and never hit anything inordinately dissonant. The word pentatonic comes from the Greek word ‘Pente’ meaning five (think pentagon or pentathlon) and tonic meaning tone, put them together and you get five tones or notes. Simply put, the pentatonic scale consists of five notes within one octave, that's why it is also sometimes referred to as a five-tone scale or five-note scale. The notes in the pentatonic scale naturally sound good in any order because there are no dissonant intervals between any of them.


Music, Movement and Memory

Being outside is necessary for well-being and enjoyment of life itself and a number of Care and Nursing Homes are seeing the benefits of creating dementia-friendly sensory gardens for residents and visitors to enjoy, creating little sanctuaries that appeal to all the senses through the creative use of colors, smells, textures, and sounds.

As many care home residents have either visual or hearing impairments, a sensory garden can and should be designed to stimulate the whole range of human senses.

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The Healing Power of Music: Musical Memorial Gardens and Tributes for Loved Ones

Finding a lasting and meaningful way to remember a loved one can bring comfort at a time of loss. We have worked with wonderful families and organizations each determined that the memory of their loved ones should be remembered in a unique and joyful way. Music is a celebration of life, full of positivity and sunshine, and a music memorial in the great outdoors can bring harmony and light into the lives of others.

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Healing Through Rhythm and Sound

Music therapists and therapy programs are increasingly using drums and rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. Drumming can be very therapeutic, helping us to get in touch with our inner selves as well as being a fun way to relax and rejuvenate our mind, body, and soul. Recent research indicates that drumming accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system and produces feelings of well being.

Study results demonstrate that drumming is a valuable treatment for stress, fatigue, anxiety, hypertension, asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, dementia, mental illness, migraines, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, stroke, paralysis, emotional disorders, ADHD sufferer's, people with learning difficulties, a wide range of physical disabilities as well as for recovering addicts, older people, troubled adolescents, and prisoners.

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The Awesome Effect of Music and Song for Children With Special Needs

Outdoor Musical Instruments in the playground provide a non-threatening and fun outlet for creative and emotional expression and through the medium of music many essential life skills can be learned. Music can have a profound effect on anyone, but the benefits of exposing a child with special needs to music can be huge. Outdoor musical instruments help create truly inclusive play spaces and play opportunities for children who may not normally have access to all equipment.

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A Brief Guide On How To Create The Perfect Music Park or Trail

Outdoor music projects often start with a vision of an individual person or a small group of people who share a passionate belief that music is something that absolutely everyone in their local community should have the opportunity to access and enjoy. Thinking of taking the plunge? This guide has been written to assist anyone tasked with delivering an inclusive music project for his or her community and help you bring your project ideas to life.

A music park or musical trail will provide a place for individuals, families or groups of friends to stroll, unwind and create music together in a fun and carefree way. They’re a great way to encourage more people involved in music-making and provide an interactive sculpture for visitors to enjoy a family-friendly experience. Design an inclusive playground that will promote enriching play experiences for all by following our guide.

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How the Playground Standards impact Musical Play Equipment & Inclusive Playgrounds

The play equipment industry is constantly changing - with new products, materials, and components being introduced to the market every year. New designs are helping to change our approach to the way children play, with play professionals and manufacturers continuing to push the envelope in play equipment design. Conjointly, playground safety has significantly improved over the past 25 years, through considerable improvements in the design of playground equipment and the introduction of industry standards.

The changes in playground standards seem to go some way in recognizing the diverse and current trends in play equipment design, thinking beyond the typical climber, slide, and swing. With a welcome advance in helping communities succeed in creating inclusive play environments, the standards now recognize new equipment that children of all abilities can easily play on and love - such as musical instruments.

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Letting off STEAM with Musical Play

Educators are finding ever more exciting ways of providing hands-on, practical opportunities to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths within the curriculum.

Now that the familiar STEM umbrella is being expanded to become STEAM and incorporate the Arts, there are opportunities to include music education and to explore the science of Sound. We thought we would share some of our favorite acoustic activities to get you started, either in the classroom or at home.

[Coming Soon]