Our last blog for ACA focused on the benefits of outdoor musical instruments for guests who have disabilities. This time, we’re highlighting how making music can benefit our overall well-being and mental health.

Music has long been hailed as a fantastic way to promote creativity, relaxation, wellbeing and teamwork for everyone and making music in the great outdoors has numerous health benefits.

A recent white paper by Percussion Play highlights that music is an invaluable resource when it comes to maintaining and improving mental health; it sparks creativity, inspires innovation, stimulates emotional response and development. Research has consistently demonstrated the positive impact of music and musical engagement on both mental health and development, especially within children.

Likewise, the effects of exposure to green space, daylight, and fresh air on mental and physical well-being have been proven to be similarly crucial. Access, therefore, to outdoor musical instruments is sure to maximize the benefits of both time spent outdoors and musical participation to provide an active solution for the improvement and maintenance of people’s mental health.

Music can be a great way to express yourself even when you may not know how to. Outdoor musical instruments are perfect for spontaneous experimentation and expression through music without the humdrum of traditional scales, ideal for camp counselors keen to introduce guests to the world of music while encouraging creativity and self-expression.

Music made on outdoor musical instruments — in the great outdoors — can give guests a way to express themselves, to unleash their creativity, to be inspired and uplifted, to relax, and to relieve stress and tension.

One such camp that has a range of outdoor musical instruments for its camp guests is Lake Aurora Christian Camp and Retreat Center in Florida. The center has been providing quality Christian camping for all ages for the last 75 years and, as of last year, it is now offering a range of outdoor musical instruments. 

Lake Aurora hosts a range of retreats for women, men, and families to help address specific issues, develop skills and gifts, explore ministry and vocational possibilities, minister to each other and worship and praise God together. The camp also hosts camps for children to learn about the word of God and to enjoy worshiping together. 

Steve Bornemann, part of the camp’s executive team, was interested in adding musical instruments to the retreat for the camp’s children to enjoy during their free time. It was decided that the instruments would be erected in the children’s playground to add an extra dimension of play — one that is aimed at unstructured, creative, sensory play and learning. 

Steve comments, "A neighboring town garden has outdoor musical instruments, and I’d been keen to install something similar for a while. After doing my research online, I found Percussion Play’s wide range of instruments. Their instruments are inclusive for wheelchair users, which was important for us so that we can ensure that all of our guests can enjoy playing them. We then set to work to decide which instruments to purchase." 

This blog was sponsored by Percussion Play. Find information about how outdoor musical instruments can improve mental health and view the case study on Lake Aurora.

Periodically, the American Camp Association (ACA) makes timely and relevant information about products and services available to its members so they can make informed decisions for their camps. However, the ACA does not endorse products, services, or companies.