Outdoor Music

Explore Outdoor Music

Perhaps nothing has been as fundamental to the shared human experience throughout history as much as music. In addition to being enjoyable; research shows how music has positive effects on learning, memory, and our ability to experience pleasure. It helps us grow as caring and connected individuals and enables us to build more harmonious communities.

We are also discovering similar psychological and physical effects from nature. Nature restores brain function in the same way that water and food fuel our bodies. Specifically, neuroscientists have explored the impact of green spaces on the prefrontal cortex, or the command center for executive functions. Exposure to nature enables this region of the brain to slow down and recover from the constant stream of data and incoming stimuli. The power of combining music and nature cannot be denied. There is ample evidence of how outdoor music settings add vibrancy to communities, engage the brain, strengthen the sense of belonging and connection with others, and possibly boost the physical and emotional health of older adult participants.


This rapidly growing body of research elucidating the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive benefits of both music and nature is comprehensive and compelling for people of all ages and abilities. 

The research-based benefits of music in nature include:

  • Singing, playing instruments, or merely listening to music releases neurotransmitters in the brain which facilitate our ability to bond with one another and experience pleasure.
  • Experiencing music with others generates oxytocin, which is what enables us to feel a sense of belonging.
  • Nature restores mental functioning in the brain the same way that water and food fuel our bodies. 
  • A growing body of research confirms that experiencing music in nature positively engages the brain, builds social cohesion, and creates the conditions to build harmonious communities. 
  • Outdoor music spaces engage people of all ages, races, and musical ability to experience and share their creative expressions of tones, rhythms, and melodies. 
  • Experiencing music in outdoor settings promotes community engagement and greater individual happiness as it relaxes, soothes, and feeds the soul.
  • The collective enjoyment of music builds a sense of social cohesion and a creates a shared human experience.
  • Listening to music has been shown to have a positive effect on those with neurological brain disorders. 



The evidence is profound: making music is beneficial for children, families, and communities and the outdoor environment is the ideal location. Multigenerational users can collaborate in these musical spaces in interesting and creative ways. A well-designed outdoor music environment services diverse users, accentuates natural attributes of the outdoor setting, and provides intentionally harmonizing musical elements that facilitate discovery and bring joy to every experience. Understanding how to plan settings that engage diverse users, across a variety of locations is important to ensure the space invites collaboration in creative ways, not just for those who play, but for people who participate as listeners, and even observers. In Partnership with Dr. Melissa Hughes, grammy award-winning musician Richard Cooke, and a host of contributors, we’ve created Natural Harmony, An Instrumental Guide to Blending Outdoor Music & Community, where communities can learn the many benefits of outdoor music settings, as well as ways to plan, design, activate, fund, and market these valuable community assets. The book also contains a wealth of case studies to illustrate communities that have successfully put these evidence-based resources into practice. 

"Experiencing music in outdoor settings promotes community engagement and greater individual happiness as it relaxes, soothes, and feeds the soul." 

-Dr. Melissa Hughes 


Outdoor Musical Instruments
Site Furnishings


Natural Harmony™

Request a copy of the Natural Harmony Guidebook


Online Funding Tool

Use our Online Funding tool to find funds for your upcoming project

Funding Tool

Continuing Education

Learn about music focused CEU education for professional organizations

Learn More

Features and Benefits

Quick reference guide to selecting Outdoor Music Instruments


Have an upcoming project?

Let us help answer any questions you have about your upcoming project.

Contact Us