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.

Including Music in Continuous Provision

Written by Kate Mannerings

Kate joined the Percussion Play team earlier this year, 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 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.

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Making Play Limitless – Music in Open Ended Play

Written by Kate Mannerings

Kate joined the Percussion Play team earlier this year, 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.

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Using Musical Instruments to Improve Core Stability

Written by Kate Mannerings

Kate has recently 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.

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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...

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.

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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 colours, 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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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 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 recognising 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 recognise new equipment that children of all abilities can easily play on and love - such as musical instruments.

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