I have always thought of the Musical Playgrounds as Sound Gardens, even in the whirl and din of a school playground, somewhere where the sound can grow and blossom. The instruments in oak frames have been installed in many school yards, and different areas of a school’s grounds.
The musical instruments have been designed and made to be able to be played by individuals or by large groups of children. Each musical playground or sound garden is conceived as one large instrument, with a bass, middle and higher register. The designs are very robust and require minimal maintenance. The oak frames shouldn’t require any maintenance or upkeep.
Many sensory gardens have been created in recent years, and the sound of these outdoor musical instruments being played in these gardens brings a special life and energy to these places. A sensory garden without any instruments is a very dull place in comparison.
Some schools have created their Sound Gardens by adding more elements each year, and so over three years have created a Sound Garden with a full range of instruments. This approach allows for the school community to fully support and engage with the process, from fundraising all the way to digging holes to install.
Sound Gardens can attract funding by being a resource to be enjoyed and used by the broader community.
Click here to watch a video of the sound trail and sound garden at Greenacre Nursery (Installed at Bootle, Liverpool, June 2008).