Sherman Public Library joins a host of libraries experimenting with music and finding new ways to draw people in and engage the public

Sherman Public Library's latest project became a reality earlier this month with the grand opening of its brand-new Harmony Music Park. The newly transformed outdoor space that includes a pavilion, gardens and outdoor musical instruments from Percussion Play will provide health benefits and learning opportunities for patrons and staff as well as the local community.

Designed to enhance the services offered by the library, as well as to provide a space for rest and reflection, the Harmony Music Park and outdoor musical instruments will offer serendipitous encounters and encourage community interactions. The pavilion is a wonderful, shaded space for people to gather and interact or simply relax, while the gardens will be full of native shrubbery and flowers. The Grayson County Agricultural Office and the Grayson County Master Gardeners have been involved in advising and planning the gardens, educating city staff and the public as to what grows the best in this area, at what time of year, and how to best care for plants going forward.

"We did some programming with the kids teaching them where plants come from," Library Services Administrator Melissa Eason said. "Seeing the kids interact with the plants and seeing how the different groups worked together to plant the garden was wonderful."

The Library originally wanted an outdoor space for their employees, but quickly decided to create a space the whole city could enjoy. Eason said the space cost the city about $100,000.

The Harmony Music Park outdoor musical instruments from Percussion Play include; colorful Conga Drums, Rainbow Cavatina, and Sansa Rimba Outdoor Xylophones and Tembos - large outdoor plosive aerophones that look and sound so intriguing visitors will not be able to resist having a try when they spot them!

Performing at the grand opening, Cara Wildman, an experienced and well-respected international percussionist said "I think the outdoor musical instruments from Percussion Play are amazing and I'm SO happy the library added them to the park! I think this will be a great community space and I hope that many people will use the instruments and let free their creative spirit that adults often suppress. I've really enjoyed the instruments myself!"

Sherman Public Library joins a host of libraries experimenting with music and new ways to draw people in and engage the public. Utilizing a key asset – their outdoor space – they are creating safe, attractive exterior spaces for staff and visitors that extends the focus on wellness, providing creative opportunities with art and music, and adding a host of other benefits for patrons.

Libraries of all scales and in all climates can use their outdoor spaces to fulfill their missions and effectively serve their communities. Creating areas for music and sound exploration will help integrate music into the everyday experience of the community, fostering an enjoyment of live music-making and breaking down barriers between people and cultures.

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