Trollemose Care Centre in Svendborg, Denmark purchased outdoor xylophones and a drum from Percussion Play, which were used to create an interactive musical garden for elderly residents, visitors and local children to enjoy together.
The main purpose of the outdoor musical instruments was to prevent loneliness and encourage interaction between residents and visitors. However, it has become clear that the instruments can be used in many other contexts including physical exercise and therapy.
The instruments are strategically placed so that they can be clearly seen from the public path that leads up to the garden, with the intention of attracting neighbours and curious passers-by to the care centre’s garden. “When an outsider comes and starts playing music, the residents also come out and look because they find it interesting and it’s a great opportunity to meet people.”
The care centre’s nearest neighbour is Poppellunden nursery and these young neighbours regularly pop in to play on the new outdoor musical instruments. Children from other nurseries in the area do the same. “Something magical happens when the children and older people meet.”
The older people are very keen to help the children. It’s a completely instinctive reaction for them. Because of this, it often mobilises them in ways that they probably don’t realise.
It’s only been a couple of months since Trollemose Care Centre received the outdoor musical instruments, but they’ve already become a part of the centre’s everyday life and they are frequently used by both outsiders and care centre residents.
Care assistants accompany residents into the garden and use the instruments in rehabilitation work at the care centre.