At InspiredPlay, we love installing outdoor musical instruments for our preschoolers. Musical parks and playgrounds may be a relatively new trend but we think they’ve got staying power!
The outdoor musical instruments we offer are durable, sustainable, play real music and can withstand the elements, which allows them to be installed outside in parks, playgrounds and communal spaces. If you think about it, nature constantly produces music of its own; bird and cricket songs, the rippling of a creek. As you think of these sounds, you can almost feel yourself beginning to relax and breathe a little more deeply.
So what if our keiki could co-create a symphony with the birds, the wind and the water? How would it make them feel? Playing music outdoors in a natural setting can be a fun and exciting experience. With children spending less and less time outdoors, behavioural problems are more and more common. The serene sounds of outdoor musical instruments can help to combat these effects.
Music is a global, creative language that creates a community connection and a sense of belonging. Some studies suggest that music is older than language, and that speech may have even evolved from music. The primal power of music evokes emotions, memories, and images, taking you on a magical journey.
For children, listening to music can reduce stress, elevate their mood and improve their sleep. While listening to music is healthy, playing it is even more beneficial. Here are some of the added benefits children can receive from interacting with musical instruments or singing:
- Increased memory capacity, refined time management and organizational skills and stronger perseverance.
- Increased responsibility and discipline
- A sense of achievement.
- Reasoning skills and cognitive development.
- More success with reading.
- Better goal-setting, concentration, cooperation and coordination.
- Higher test scores and a higher likelihood of performing better in math and science.
- Higher self-esteem, a higher likelihood of going to college and getting along better with their peers.
In addition, playing music actually promotes happiness in both the child’s life and in the lives of those around them. Can you see now why it’s so important?!
Children shouldn’t worry about being a ‘musician’ either. The fact is, we are all musicians. Everyone is musical and we can all create powerful sounds that empower and inspire us to reveal our true creative selves. We all have rhythm inside of us: our heartbeat, respiration, the flow of blood throughout our bodies, the vibrations of our breath and vocal frequencies. If you think about it, we ourselves are walking, talking musical instruments.
Providing preschools and communities with access to real musical instruments helps to satisfy kids’ needs for connection and expression of their innate creativity. Playing music with others fosters deep listening, respect for themselves and others as well as the instruments, a sense of belonging and a bond. As they co-create music with their friends, their focus and social engagement can align in a fun way.
Humans are both creative and collaborative in nature so allowing kids a chance to play early on in life results in a happier, more creative society that strengthens our capacity to build community.
With music programs continuing to be cut in schools, we believe we as childcare professionals have a responsibility to find ways to enrich our children’s lives. By creating a culture where musical parks and musical playgrounds are universally available, rather than an exception, we can cultivate opportunities for the whole community to engage, play and succeed.
With the musical parks we create at InspiredPlay, our goal is to make musical expression accessible to everyone. We want to help children build self-confidence that will spill over into other areas of their lives – and as an alternative form of playground play, musical play encourages creative self-expression and an active participation in life.
Musical play is also multigenerational. Children, parents and even grandparents can all interact by playing music together. Creating patterns that produce sounds and musical notes allows kids to use their imagination and taps into their sense of wonderment. Parents and grandparents get to have fun reconnecting to their own inner child – it’s a wonderful bonding experience for all.
To sum up, creating parks that contain real musical instruments that are easy to play offers creative fun for both beginners and practiced musicians. Outdoor musical instruments enhance public spaces and become socially interactive sound sculptures that have the power to capture the imagination. Could they be the key to bringing music back into the lives of children as well as encouraging outdoor play?
The joy of creating music is so strong, we believe if more children can develop confidence in their musical ability, their lives and society itself can be changed for the better. If you’re ready to ensure inclusivity, create a fun environment that is usable by all and bring music to the masses, give us a call and let’s see what we can build together.