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Mushroom Drums and Musical Fun!


What does a Mushroom Drum have to do with your local care home? Maybe a lot, and just maybe you can get involved in our mission to expand the availability of outdoor music therapy.


We are constantly searching for creative ways to improve the environment of unique individuals living in Seniors' Care Homes. As we learn about the lives and needs of our elders, the story we have heard repeatedly is the struggle of isolation and the human need for connection. Outdoor, Music Instruments have been shown to give a mental boost to the user, improve and maintain motor functions, and encourage outdoor time in the sun[1].  

Instruments such as chimes, drums, and bells are not only a beautiful addition to a care home’s courtyard, but they also provide opportunities for music-making and connection. This year, as an expansion of the Heart for Music Program, we are bringing a Garden Instrument to a few local care homes.


A Stimulating Experience:

More than just a space for relaxation, gardens equipped with outdoor musical instruments offer a variety of benefits for our elders, particularly those living with dementia or other cognitive challenges. 

Outdoor musical instruments, such as those found in sensory gardens, provide a unique multi-sensory experience. They are designed to be accessible and easy to play, inviting residents to engage in spontaneous music-making. This not only stimulates the senses but also encourages social interaction and physical activity[2].


Community Connections:

Music has the power to bring people together, and outdoor instruments create a communal space where residents can gather, play, and connect with family and volunteer members. This fosters a sense of community and belonging, which is crucial for mental health in senior care homes[3].


Mental and Physical Impact:

For individuals living with dementia, sensory gardens with musical elements can be especially beneficial. The familiar tunes and rhythms can evoke memories and emotions, contributing to reminiscence therapy. Additionally, the act of playing instruments can improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills[4].


Outdoor Instruments at Heart for Music Care Homes:

In the Spring of 2024, we have set-up two BC care homes with Garden Instruments: Villa Cathay Care Home with “The Aria” and Czorny Alzheimer Centre with “The Mushroom”. We are excited to see these instruments installed this summer. The integration of outdoor garden instruments into senior care homes offers a blend of sensory stimulation, cognitive therapy, and opportunities for connection. It is a simple yet profound way to enhance the quality of life for our elders, making every day a little more musical.


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