New Musical Playground Opens Next To Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, Iowa

The purchase was made possible through the funds that were designated to Bridge View Center Inc. from the Harold and Florene de Buhr estate” said Michael Philipsen, BVC Inc.

Musical parks and playgrounds are a new trend in musical expression. The outdoor musical instruments are durable, sustainable, play real music, and can withstand the elements allowing them to be installed outside. Freenotes instruments have been created with no wrong notes, allowing anyone to become an “instant expert” in making music, no matter the age or ability.

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Manchester Marks $2 Million Park Upgrade

Residents celebrated a revived and renovated Charter Oak Park on Wednesday.

Upgrades that cost a total of about $2 million include new playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, a revamped softball field, a “music garden” and newly paved parking lot and walkways. The park off Charter Oak Street had not been refurbished since the 1970s, town officials said. The garden includes nine playable instruments installed among freshly planted trees, shrubs and flowers. The all-weather instruments look like variations of xylophones, chimes, and drums. Made of aluminum, fiberglass and other durable materials, they are designed for “immediate gratification” and to foster confidence in the ability to play music, according to the manufacturer, Freenotes Harmony Park.

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Musical Garden Opens At Diefenbaker Park

Photograph By Sandor Gyarmati

Kids and kids at heart will be able to enjoy making music at Diefenbaker Park.

Municipal officials, members of the Tsawwassen Rotary and others, including the Grade 3 class from Pebble Hill Elementary, were on hand at the Tsawwassen park Thursday for the grand opening of a new musical garden. It’s a partnership between the Rotary and Corporation of Delta.

Having a $56,000 price tag, the cost was equally shared. An outdoor play area was installed that has several durable percussion instruments, including drums, chimes, and xylophones, designed for outdoor use. Instruments were placed in a circular space within a seating wall and newly planted trees.

Noting studies have shown music is beneficial for child development, Mayor Lois Jackson applauded Rotary projects which have benefited the community, made possible thanks to the partnerships.

Club president Benno Buchur said not only children but their great grandparents can also enjoy using the musical features.

Special recognition was also given to Rotarian Vicki Sangster for her work with the club including spearheading the creation of the new musical garden

The Rotary club, which brought a new outdoor water play area to Diefenbaker Park a couple of years ago, has been involved in numerous community oriented projects, such as the inaugural Soap Box Derby in Tsawwassen last summer, the annual tree-lighting in the park during Christmas season as well as the water fountain and stair counter installations at Fred Gingell Park.

The club, which grew out of the Ladner Rotary, has been existence for about 25 years.

© 2017 Delta Optimist

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The sound of Federal Hill: New park features permanent, Freenotes Outdoor Instruments


By Mark Ambrogi

Noblesville Parks Dept. Director Brandon Bennett was intrigued by the idea of permanent outdoor instruments.

“Since first seeing the (Freenotes) Harmony Park instruments at a conference, I wanted to see these instruments in our system somewhere, but never had the right location or opportunity until this park came up,” Bennett said.

Bennett wanted the instruments as part of the design for the City of Noblesville’s sixth park, Federal Hill Commons, which opened April 29 and held its grand opening celebration May 13.

“The park has a focus on different arts, and these instruments fit right into that focus,” he said. “I knew I wanted them in the park design, but I was not sure where, as I didn’t want them to be a distraction when there was a show going on if they were placed somewhere out in the lawn.”

Bennett said the architects came up with the unique idea to install them along the back of the stage wall of the amphitheater. That accomplished several things, he said.

“First, it gave the back of the stage wall some depth as well as some additional visual artistic value,” he said. “Second, it activated the stage when nothing else was going on. Finally, it protected them from being played when there was an event on the stage and not allowing them to become a distraction as I once feared. Now, people come up on stage and play the instruments and make music when they are at the park visiting, making them the stars on the stage. People playing these instruments has quickly become my favorite sound resonating throughout the park.”

Joshua Rannells, lead design engineer for Colorado-based Freenotes Harmony Park, said the instruments are designed to be outdoors.

“They can take the abuse of rain and all that,” Rannells said. “They don’t have to be covered. The instruments are designed so anyone can play. You don’t have to have any music background.”

The Noblesville Parks Foundation donated the instruments.

“I’m glad the foundation stepped up and partnered on this, because I think it adds so much more to this park and the experience we want users to have,” Bennett said.

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The Power of Drumming

The Power of Drumming

Why we Drum (attitudes and life skills) is more important than How we do it (technical skill). Instead of perfecting the technique for public performance, Drumming offers a unique opportunity in brain development and interpersonal skills. Drumming –or- Group drumming teaches the drummer and those who listen, unity between thought and emotion. The fluidity of movement and resonant vibration of the drum produced physiological and neurological changes within the body/mind that balance the nervous system and lead toward perfect health and well-being.

Information attributed to Annette Kearl, MA, MT-BC, Director of  Infinite Health-The Bridge, Freenotes does not endorse the statements made here but offers this information as a service to our readers.

A continuous “letting go” of the logical judgmental mind and conscious focus on the sound, feeling and movement, allow the drummer to experience the current moment. Within this state of heightened awareness (the “here and now”), the body/mind intelligence is functioning more freely to enhance the body’s natural healing processes. On a lighter note, but equally significant, the art of drumming is creative and FUN! Like natural, informal speaking, the art of musical conversation is the art of listening and responding – spontaneous improvisation. You don’t need great technical skills to make music. If you learn to listen, you will naturally respond with something that makes sense. Beyond musical enjoyment, Drumming develops essential life skills needed for successful social, educational, professional, and group relationships.

  • Trust Patience Sensitivity Cooperation Flexibility
  • Confidence Courage Discipline Leadership
  • Recreational Fun Imagination (balance brain hemispheres)
  • Confidence and Self-esteem Teamwork / Cooperation

“All musicians know how uplifting the soul becomes after a musical experience. Now pure science is weighing in.”
— Mickey Hart, Drummer

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The Maria Holder Memorial Trust is set to upgrade or build 11 play parks across Barbados in commemoration of the island’s 50th Anniversary of Independence, celebrated on November 30, last year. Word of this has come from the Chairman and Co-founder of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Christopher Holder. He was speaking at the official opening of the Maria Holder Nursery School, Gall Hill, yesterday morning, where he revealed that the decision to launch this project as a gift to Barbados in recognition of the country’s Golden Jubilee was only recently made. 

He told the audience which included Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart; Minister of Education, Ronald Jones and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, that the existing play park at Wotton, Christ Church, will be the first to have work done on it. “So some of them will be refurbished, some will be brand new play parks. Again, opportunities to get these kids out there, being active,” he said. He added that they will also be building a music park with outdoor musical instruments from Freenotes Harmony Park and a skate park facility near the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium. Holder revealed it will be completed towards the end of this year, early 2018. He explained that it is a phased project, and once the first phase is successful and looked after properly, they will move ahead with the other two phases.

Meanwhile, Holder expressing concern about coverage in the press about the conditions of the State-owned Geriatric Hospital and other elderly care facilities on the island said the Trust also has plans on stream to facilitate much-needed improvements to the Geriatric Hospital. He indicated that just prior to Christmas, officials of the Trust paid a visit to the Geriatric Hospital, and they intend to redevelop significant parts of that facility. “We are determined to make a significant change and improvement to the facility for the elderly here in Barbados,” the Chairman of the Trust stated. 

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Musical Park To Come To South Dakota Town Of Lead






A soon-to-be-renovated park in the South Dakota town of Lead will include a feature available in only a few U.S. cities. The Black Hills Pioneer reports that the Lead City Commission has voted to give a temporary loan to a group raising money for a set of musical devices for Manuel Brothers Park. The group has already raised nearly $18,000.  The devices will be large outdoor equivalents of musical instruments. The devices will allow children to experiment with making sounds on drums, pagoda bells, chimes, xylophones and lily pad cymbals. They’re expected to be installed next to the park’s playground equipment.


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Dowling Elementary Finishes Phase 2 Of Accessible Playground

There are other special needs playgrounds at other schools and parks in the area, but it is unlikely any has as much space as the Dowling Elementary, a K-5 urban environmental magnet school located at 3900 W. River Pkwy. The actual work on the playground was divided into three phases. Phase 1 is complete. It included Harmony Park, where outdoor instruments are available for the kids to perform on. It also provided swings and rear course pavement. Read More

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