The Benefits of Outdoor Music for People With Disabilities
To celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3rd, Percussion Play highlighted the benefits of music, particularly outdoor music, for people with both physical and mental disabilities.
Outdoor musical instruments are helping people with physical disabilities to create music without limits and installing these instruments in an accessible, open, outdoor setting, helps to reduce the many obstacles people with physical disabilities face in their daily lives.
As well as improving access, playing outdoor musical instruments has been proven to induce multiple responses – physiological, movement, mood, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral; there are very few other stimuli that have such a profound positive impact on such a wide range of human functions and emotions.
Playing outdoor musical instruments enables children to improve their gross motor skills because they are encouraged to use full-body movements.
When playing larger instruments there is a positive impact on core stability. The right side of our brain controls the muscles on the left side of our bodies and the left side of the brain controls the muscles on the right side of our bodies. When we cross our midline with our arms or legs, we boost communication between the two hemispheres of our brains. For children to become confident with movements that cross the midline, we need to encourage the brain's two hemispheres to work together.
Playing outdoor musical instruments also encourages the use of fine motor skills and improves hand-eye coordination as the child has to hold a beater or mallet and hit the instrument in a specific place to make a sound.
Children who have a disability that impacts their education, often find it difficult to engage in a classroom setting but being able to create music outside can help children with learning difficulties engage and enjoy lessons.
Having large, brightly colored outdoor instruments which vary in shape and are visually varied can encourage children with learning difficulties to engage and explore whilst promoting imagination.
Percussion Play is the world-leading manufacturer of outdoor musical instruments and is seeing an ever-increasing interest in their inclusive outdoor instruments, with record sales this year.
Percussion Play has created a range of beautiful outdoor musical instruments which are played across the world’s schools, libraries, parks, hospitals, and senior living communities. From the popular Calypso Chimes to the Harmony Flowers., Percussion Play’s instruments are designed to bring people together to create uplifting music.
Jody Ashfield, Founder and CEO of Percussion Play said: “We are proud to recognize and support this year’s International Day of People with Disabilities. Percussion Play supports the 2021 campaign of ‘Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era’ and hopes to encourage everyone to be able to create music without limits. We hope our accessible outdoor instruments can help remove barriers for people who live with disabilities and help encourage more people to create and enjoy music in the great outdoors”.
You can read more research on the benefits of music for those with disabilities here.