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

The Song Is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On)

When we lose those dearest to us, commissioning a memorial to celebrate their life can be the hardest task facing us. However, it can also be the most rewarding.

Finding a lasting and meaningful way to remember a loved one can bring comfort at a time of loss. Choosing the right way to honour and to celebrate someone’s life or work can be immensely healing to the bereaved who are comforted knowing that they’re creating something beautiful to honour a memory. The act of creating a meaningful memorial is a validation of grief and love as well as an empowering act of healing and channel for energy. It is extremely powerful to have the opportunity to think deeply around just what it is about the loved one that is to be remembered and the subject of their memorial. These acts can be done individually, as a family or as a community.

We have worked with wonderful families and organisations each determined that the memory of their loved ones will 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 – helping to convey something that can’t easily be put into words.

One of the biggest fears people have after the death of a loved one is that the person will be forgotten. This is even more acute when the person who died has lived a short life and choosing a suitable memorial to commemorate a young life can be particularly difficult. A musical instrument or musical space for the community to enjoy in the park or school playground could be the perfect way to celebrate the life of a friend, brother or sister who has left this world far sooner than expected or imagined. Outdoor musical instruments inspire creativity, they bring people together, they encourage physical movement and bring smiles to faces.

There is nothing quite like time spent outdoors in a beautiful space for remembering a loved one. A memorial music garden can act as a healing place for contemplation, somewhere to offer a peaceful, calming atmosphere where families can sit and reflect, with musical instruments providing a non-threatening outlet for emotional expression. Stimulating sensory gardens are a much-loved feature with residents, families and staff in nursing homes and senior centres. The gift of an outdoor musical instrument, such as outdoor chimes or an outdoor xylophone, would create a wonderful sound, be visually attractive and encourage a little gentle exercise for residents to enjoy in the sunshine, as well as something a little different for visiting children to have fun and explore while outdoors.

Whether you only have a rough idea of what kind of memorial you’d like, or have a more detailed plan, we can help. Families and organizations, we have worked with have chosen to remember a loved one with a single outdoor drum or xylophone, others with a complete music garden or playground, this is a collaborative process and together we have created fitting tributes that have reflected the uniqueness of the person lost.

Here, we look at four music memorials dedicated to the memory of special people. They may inspire you to organise – or get involved – in a memorial project that’s dedicated to someone unforgettable. Some are on a grand scale, while others are more pocket-sized, each has been made with the love of a supportive community. In each of these memorial projects, the emphasis behind the dedication has been on celebrating a person’s life.

St. Feriole Island Memorial Gardens in Wisconsin Bring Music and Nature Together
Bringing Music to Calums Cabin in Memory of a Fantastic Advocate and Supporter
Babel Drum Tribute in Memory of Former Clerk-Treasurer in La Porte, Indiana
Musical Sensory Garden Celebrates Special Pupil Henry

An outdoor musical instrument as a remembrance gift donated to a special place they loved or to a local school, church, woodland or park is a wonderful way to remember someone in the community. Percussion Play offers to custom engrave an instrument (where possible) to personalize it at no extra charge. However, often due to limited space on the instruments themselves, a memorial plaque, engraved with a personal inscription which reflects the loved one’s life, can be attached to or placed next to the instrument.

Memorial musical instruments can vary in size, style, and tone just as widely as the unique personalities of the individuals being memorialized. They are wonderful for honouring someone who loved music, who loved the outdoors, or for anyone with an adventurous spirit.

Article: Collage for Memorial Article