Musical Memorials and Public Tributes Using Outdoor Musical Instruments

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When we lose those dearest to us, commissioning a memorial to celebrate their life can be the hardest task facing us. However, it can also be the most rewarding.

Finding a lasting and meaningful way to remember a loved one can bring comfort at a time of loss. Choosing the right way to honor and to celebrate someone’s life or work can be immensely healing to the bereaved who are comforted knowing that they’re creating something beautiful to honor a memory. The act of creating a meaningful memorial is a validation of grief and love as well as an empowering act of healing and a channel for energy. It is extremely powerful to have the opportunity to think deeply around just what it is about the loved one that is to be remembered and the subject of their memorial. These acts can be done individually, as a family, or as a community.

More often than not, memories of a loved one involve music, laughter, fun, and togetherness – all things that can be incorporated into their memorial and celebration of their life. A dedicated outdoor musical instrument, music park, or trail is a joyful, lasting public tribute and an increasingly popular way for a special person’s name to live on in the heart of the community. Music is a celebration of life, full of positivity and sunshine, and a music memorial in the great outdoors can bring harmony and light into the lives of others – helping to convey something that can’t easily be put into words.

One of the biggest fears people have after the death of a loved one is that the person will be forgotten. This is even more acute when the person who died has lived a short life and choosing a suitable memorial to commemorate a young life can be particularly difficult. A musical instrument or musical space for the community to enjoy in the park or school playground could be the perfect way to celebrate the life of a friend, brother, or sister who has left this world far sooner than expected or imagined. Dedicating a sustainable legacy of inclusive music-making opportunities for other young people to enjoy in the name of a young person with a passion for music, will inspire creativity, bring people together, and smiles to faces.

There is nothing quite like time spent outdoors in a beautiful space for remembering a loved one. A memorial music garden can act as a healing place for contemplation, somewhere to offer a peaceful, calming atmosphere where families can sit and reflect, with musical instruments providing a non-threatening outlet for emotional expression. Stimulating sensory gardens are a much-loved feature with residents, families, and staff in nursing homes and senior centers. The gift of an outdoor musical instrument, such as outdoor chimes or xylophone, will create a wonderful sound, be visually attractive and encourage residents to take some gentle exercise and enjoy a little music-making outdoors in the sunshine. Visiting little ones will love exploring the instruments and all generations will enjoy the positive effects of bonding through playing music together, listening to each other, having fun, being outdoors, and being creative.

Musical memorials or tributes can be made on a grand scale – major city music parks with multiple instruments and stage for outdoor performances – or on a smaller scale such as a single drum, chimes, or xylophone donated as a remembrance gift to a special place they loved or to a local school, church, woodland or park. The size and tone can vary just as widely as the unique personalities of the individuals being memorialized. Percussion Play offers to custom engrave an instrument (where possible) to personalize it at no extra charge. However, often due to limited space on the instruments themselves, a memorial plaque, engraved with a personal inscription that reflects the loved one’s life, can be attached to or placed next to the instrument.

Music is a wonderful tool that can lift us up and what better way to honor someone who loved music, who loved the outdoors or had an adventurous spirit, than to bring provide an inclusive community place for individuals, families, or groups of friends to stroll, unwind and create great music together in a fun and carefree way.