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How Outdoor Music can Benefit Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health Week- Jody Ashfield, Founder and MD of Percussion Play, explains the benefit outdoor music can have on children’s mental health and emotional growth.

Percussion Play MH

In recent years we’ve seen a shift in attitudes towards mental health with people being more open to discuss their depression and wellbeing.  Of course, as we near to the two-year anniversary of the start of the Covid-91 pandemic, the nation’s mental health has been faced with unprecedented challenges.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that as the UK moves towards ‘living with covid’ there is talk about recovery and evaluating our mental health and how we can improve it. 

As we look to marking Children’s Mental Health Week, Percussion Play is highlighting the benefits of music, particularly outdoor music, for improving children’s wellbeing and supporting emotional growth.

It has long been scientifically proven that listening to and creating music lifts people’s moods and creates a powerful sense of well-being.  But there’s also research which demonstrates the positive impact that it has on children, helping improve their self-confidence, social development and growth.

Outdoor musical instruments enable children to grow in multiple ways.  By playing instruments they might not have seen before, children are challenged to move beyond their comfort zones.  Indeed, learning how to play music can be a long journey in which children are continually growing their understanding of music and instruments.

Playing musical instruments also accelerates the emotional growth of children because children learn how to communicate with others when creating music.  Children who play musical instruments develop the ability to show compassion and empathy towards others helping to support mental health.

Outdoor activity has also been shown to enhance our mood, proven most recently during the pandemic when many embraced outdoor activities.

By combining both music and the ‘great outdoors’, Percussion Play believe its instruments can help create fun and laughter, helping support good mental health for not only children but everyone.

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 last year. 

Percussion Play has recognised research into music therapy outlining the benefits of music for children’s mental health.  This research includes:

  • Rolvsjord in 2001 and Solli in 2008, who proved music therapy to have “unique motivating, relationship building and emotionally expressive qualities”
  • Geretsegge Mössler et al in 2017 showed there is evidence that musical interaction increases the quality of life of people living with mental illness.
  • Playing music can help to re-establish and re-balance our circadian, physiological and psychological internal rhythms.  When we play musical instruments, our brains are subconsciously responding to the patterns in the sounds trying to predict the music. This encourages our internal rhythms to begin to re-establish themselves and harmonise with the rhythm of the music.

Percussion Play has created a range of beautiful outdoor musical instruments which are played across the world in 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.

As a company, we are proud to recognise and support this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week. As world leaders in the manufacturing of outdoor musical instruments, we aim to champion the impact outdoor music can have on individuals and their emotional growth.   Outdoor musical instruments can relieve stress, anxiety and we encourage everyone to get outside during Children’s Mental Health Week and create and listen to music.   

You can read more research on the benefits of music on mental health here.

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