Now you can bring music to your playground, park or facility with Freenotes™, the industry leader in outdoor musical instruments, invented by Grammy Award-winning musician Richard Cooke more than 20 years ago.
Whether it is the little diddy that keeps rolling around in our heads, or the tunes we love to play on our way home from work, or the music that guides us through a movie, there is no doubt that music plays an integral part in our lives.
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”- Victor Hugo
Freenotes Outdoor Musical Instruments™ are based on the pentatonic scale, a musical scale with five notes per octave. Think the 5 black keys on the piano: no matter how you play them, they sound great. Pentatonic scales are encountered in music all over the world. It is the basis for Chinese music, Celtic folk music, blues, jazz, country music and gospel music, to name a few.
The pentatonic scale plays a significant role in music education. The creative improvisation of the pentatonic scale makes the Freenotes™, xylophones, bells, marimbas, chimes and drums native to our ability to play freely and be in harmony with any other instruments being played at the same time. There are no wrong notes.
Benefits of Outdoor Musical Instruments
1. Inclusive Play – No matter the limited ability of a person, outdoor musical instruments provide play that other playground equipment cannot.
2. Music is Universal – Music does not differentiate between ability or language. Musical instruments are for everyone, everywhere, regardless of social, educational, mental or medical differences. Musical play is for teens, adults, the elderly and children alike. This important concept is often missed when determining what to offer in a Park or Playground.
3. Builds Community – A musical playground brings community music-making directly into your public space, for community use.
5. Everyone is a Musician – Freenotes Outdoor Musical Instruments™ are pentatonic scale instruments designed for improvisational play, created in a way that allows success for every player.
6. No Special Surfacing Requirements – Because of the nature of the instruments, you do not need to provide special safety surfacing. A well-designed musical space will give easy access to everyone visiting the area.
7. Low Maintenance – The all-weather instruments look like variations of xylophones, chimes, marimbas and drums. Made of aluminum, fiberglass and other durable materials, they require very little maintenance.
What is the Perfect Space for Outdoor Musical Instruments?
The simple answer would be wherever people could possibly gather. But to spark your imagination, here are some ideas:
1. Exercise trails – Make going from the drudgery of exercise to the chance to stop, create and experience joyful music.
2. Walking loops around park and playground facilities – Encourage more walking by appealing to the senses with musical instruments.
3. Outdoor common areas of your business – Imagine the fun employees and families will have creating music together, building a community.
4. Outdoor Waiting Areas of Hospitals – Relieve stress and bring the pleasure of lighthearted sounds to your environment.
5. Lake and River Walkways – These visual works of art are interactive and a delight in beautiful natural settings.
6. School Playgrounds – Spark imaginations and improve academic performance, the power of musical instruments is an undeniable force in any educational setting.
7. Public Parks – Outdoor musical instruments provide play activities that interest kids, teens, adults and seniors. Most public parks provide play for kids but leave the rest of us with very little to do.
8. Residential Communities – As we see more and more residential communities going up in our cities, a musical park would be most appreciated by teens and adults of your community. Because kids of all ages flock to the instruments, your residents will be delighted.
9. Museums – Imagine these beautiful works of art at the entrance to your museum. Enhance the experience of your visitors with an interactive musical experience that will surprise them.
10. Community Gardens – Freenotes is the perfect fit for any nature environment. The pentatonic scale instruments are soothing. Selecting a diverse variety of instruments will bring a sound texture equal to the rich textures of a community garden.
11. Libraries – A musical park could not be more appropriate! Music is a wonderful multi-sensory enhancement.
12. Senior Centers or Assisted Living Facilities – Promote social activities and bonding. Decrease depression and feelings of loneliness.
13. Business Centers – Bring a sense of community and enchanting interaction to your business area. Provide distinctive unique experiences that will make your center stand out.
“At a Freenotes Harmony Park, there are no insurmountable disabilities, and there are no wrong notes.” Freenotes
“I get more positive comments about the musical playground than anything. People actually pick up the phone – after a trip to Moab – to tell me, ‘That was the greatest thing we have ever seen in a park. We loved it. We want a musical playground for our community.’ People, from all ages, usually have a big smile on their face when they play the instruments. Here we are in Moab, surrounded by gorgeous National Parks, and we have visitors telling other visitors that they must go to Rotary Park and play the instruments.”
– David Olsen, Moab Community Development Director
“One of the best things about these instruments is that they provide all ages and abilities an opportunity to interact with spontaneous creative expression.”
–Jeannene Bragg, PACE Center’s Cultural Director
“Without question, the best resource I have ever seen for nurturing the musician in every child is Freenotes Harmony Park™ outdoor instruments and playgrounds by Freenotes. The instruments are designed by Richard Cooke who feels that everyone can and should be a musician, even without formal training.”
– Patricia Jones, Teacher Support Force
“Combining music with nature has such a profound impact on us – not because science tells us so – but because of how it makes us feel.” Freenotes
Want to create a whole musical park or add outdoor musical instruments to your project?
Call us, we can help you with creating your Freenotes™ design and help you choose the right musical instruments for your particular installation.
In Pursuit of “Musical” Play,
Nicole Stoddard – LuckyDog Recreation Sales and Marketing – 800-388-2196
Rhetta McIff, Utah’s Creative Play Designer – 385-222-1030