01-13-23 | News

Plans for Musical Instruments in All Harris County Parks

Music Brings Inclusivity to Texas Parks
by Staff

Percussion Play's instruments were added throughout parks in Harris County, Texas.
Percussion Play's instruments were added throughout parks in Harris County, Texas.
Percussion Play's instruments were added throughout parks in Harris County, Texas.

There are plans for all parks in Harris County to include musical instruments after the success of the James Driver Park - a fully inclusive park in Precinct 2 - which has recently unveiled a number of outdoor musical instruments. The project is part of Commissioner Adrian Garcia's Revive2Thrive initiative which aims to revitalize the precinct by investing in infrastructure and community programs.

Led by Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Harris County Precinct 2 is home to more than 40 parks spread over 4,000 acres with many offering a haven for residents of the county, where precinct staff have endeavored to create an area where children can express themselves with an emphasis on inclusion.

Percussion Play's instruments are featured in most of the parks with colorful Rainbow Chimes, Harmony Flowers, Cavatinas, and Bongo Drums all providing visitors with an area to make music together.

The James Driver Park is the first fully inclusive park in Precinct 2 and Harris County where everything is accessible to people of all abilities.


Commissioner Garcia says, "The value of inclusive parks is priceless. By allowing people of all abilities to use our facilities, we are seeing people at our parks we have never seen before. The park is always busy. Recently, the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) brought a group of stakeholders from across the country to tour James Driver Park. We are proud the park is getting national attention and can raise the bar for how we think about parks and inclusivity!"

Percussion Play's instruments bring beautiful sounds to the parks and being inspired by nature, instruments such as the Harmony Flowers, are a perfect fit for recreation grounds offering a multi-sensory experience.

Commissioner Garcia adds, "The percussion sets are a win-win in many aspects! They add to the aesthetic of the public space, expose children to musical instruments, allow children to express themselves in a new way, and stimulate sensory learning."

Precinct 2 parks are illustrating the importance of accessibility. Soon, more constituents will be able to create music with plans for Percussion Play's instruments to be installed in all playgrounds. The popularity of these parks will surely mean parks all over the United States will move to include accessible and inclusive areas for play.

Playing outdoor musical instruments has been proven to have a positive impact on people's movement, mood, emotions, cognition, and behavior. This activity enables children to improve their gross motor skills because they are encouraged to use full-body movements.

When playing larger instruments there is a positive impact on core stability. The right side of our brain controls the muscles on the left side of our bodies and the left side of the brain controls the muscles on the right side of our bodies. When we cross our midline with our arms or legs, we boost communication between the two hemispheres of our brains. For children to become confident with movements that cross the midline, we need to encourage the brain's two hemispheres to work together.

Playing outdoor musical instruments also encourages the use of fine motor skills and improves hand-eye coordination as the child has to hold a beater or mallet and hit the instrument in a specific place to make a sound.

Jody Ashfield, Co-founder, and MD of Percussion Play said: "Precinct 2 Parks is putting accessibility and inclusion at the heart of their recreation grounds. Commissioner Garcia and his team are raising the bar for parks across the United States to create recreation areas that are all-inclusive and engaging for everyone. We are proud our instruments are helping have a positive impact on communities across the County and the Country".


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