Complementary Benefits Makes Adding Musical Elements to Playgrounds a Truly Smart Idea
Play and music already share a vocabulary. A self-contained part of a musical composition is called a, ‘movement.’ It is common for sportscasters to describe an athlete or team as, ‘getting into rhythm.’ The laughter that emits from a well-designed playscape is often, ‘music to the ears,’ of the children’s parents. For the greatest cognitive and social benefits, you must learn to ‘play’ a musical instrument.
Both music and playscapes can also be enjoyed alone and in groups. Participation in a musical group is a practice in group dynamics and social integration. So is participation in a play group. Studies have found connections between musical education and language development, increases in IQ scores, and spacial-temporal skills. Similar benefits have been noted in studies connecting play and learning.
Integration of the two is natural, because in many ways they area already the same.
Imbuing Playscapes with Musical Abilities
The very best playgrounds engage both the mind and body while encouraging natural gameplay. The practice of music is in itself a game. The elements of pattern development, repetition, heightening of stakes, and the pure joy of participation are one in same with both music and play. Which is why the inclusion of music and sound elements in a playground’s development is so natural.
Whether at the beginning stages of its design, or for when seeking an easy and fun way to upgrade, Goric’s line of sensory and sound elements offers the perfect way to compound the benefits and improve participation in nearly any type of playscape. Adding interactive play elements, such as the Sound Columns used in the gardens of St. Louis’ Magic House Children’s Museum, to existing structures increases the usage and benefits of both. While integrating musical abilities into a new design ensures an enriching experience from the very beginning.
Interactivity – The Key Component
While listening to music has many benefits, participating in its creation is the key to unlocking music’s most powerful cognitive and social boosting effects. A recent study by Northwestern University confirms how important it is for kids to be actively engaged. Participants who engaged in musical creation demonstrated measurable improvements in the strength of their neural-processing. Even more impressive, those same students continued to outperform their peers in areas such as reading comprehension two years following their initial participation.
As many parents know, it can be difficult to take something fun and make it educational. Combining musical abilities and sound sensory elements to playgrounds accomplishes exactly that. Exploring a fun-filled playscape should only be limited by imagination. Including musical accompaniment as children climb, slide, and swing through their adventures only increases the benefits for all involved.