Lakeland Reformed Church has embraced outdoor play at Lakeland Creative Beginnings Child Care with a number of outdoor musical instruments inspired by their faith.
The church, located in Vicksburg, Michigan, recently purchased the Rainbow Chimes from Percussion Play, a leading manufacturer of outdoor musical instruments that has seen a steep increase this year in orders from churches in North America.
The creation of Lakeland Church’s Music Wall was inspired by Psalm 100, which says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”
Children and members of the congregation are enjoying creating music together inspired by their faith. Additionally, the instruments are inclusive, meaning everyone of all ages and abilities can come together to play and create music.
The Rainbow Chimes sit on the Music Wall at the church, and with harmonious pentatonic notes, they are ideal for developing a sense of rhythm and coordination in children. The chimes encourage and improve hand to eye coordination.
The size and colors of these chimes make them particularly appealing for smaller establishments such as pre-schools, and kindergartens. Bright and inviting, they are easy to securely fix in the ground, or to a wall, fence, or post. You can even bring the outdoors inside by installing the chimes to a wall indoors.
Play is essential for children’s development and particularly outdoor play, which is recognized by Cindy Palmer, director, Lakeland Creative Beginnings.
Palmer said, “We recognize the value of musical experiences and how they accelerate brain development in language and literacy. Research also tells us that children who learn to keep a rhythm or steady beat often improve in math skills.”
Indeed, neuroscience research shows that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain.
There is also a strong correlation between improved self-confidence and improved overall school performance.
Playing musical instruments (as opposed to simply listening to music) is particularly important for human social development because music making is fun and uses different skills to the ones that most people usually employ on a day-to-day basis. This means that making music is relaxing and can relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.
In fact, there is now a growing body of research demonstrating that playing musical instruments is beneficial for children and adults in terms of both improved physical and mental health. It has even been known to help boost our immune systems.
Palmer says everyone at the church, spanning multi generations, is benefitting from the Music Wall.
She said, “We absolutely love the instruments added to our playground. So many children ages 3-100 have enjoyed making music outside. These are instilling a newfound love for music in some, while encouraging others to develop their skills. The tone of the Rainbow Chimes is so real it sounds like church bells when played. It’s by far the best update we have made to our outdoor space. Music speaks to us mind, body, and spirit. We know God smiles when he hears us!”
Jody Ashfield, founder and chief executive officer of Percussion Play, said, “It’s never been more important to encourage children’s outdoor play, and we are thrilled to see churches such as Lakeside Reformed Church embrace outdoor musical instruments. We are delighted to see children enjoying the instruments that are inspired by their faith, and they can reap the rewards of a musical education.”
To learn more about Percussion Play, visit www.percussionplay.com.