The sound of music: Brookings opens first musical park

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Kids and their families now have the opportunity to make outdoor music at the new musical playground in Larson Park.

The project was a joint effort between the Rotary Club, the Public Arts Commission, Brookings Arts Council and Parks and Rec to provide this new form of play to community members.

This playground is now being filled with the sound of music.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to bring some more opportunities for families and children to come to our beautiful parks here in Brookings,” said Kay Norton, Public Image Chair for Brookings Rotary Club.

The park features both musical instruments and visual art.

“We want to be able to have everything from our youngest artists all the way to our oldest ones and this was a way to incorporate play, which is so important in development and growth in kids and music together,” said Ashley Ragsdale, Executive Director of the Arts Council.

The musical playground is handicap accessible, allowing everyone the chance to make music.

“Art and experiences should be for everybody so it’s in the public, anybody can come and access it,” said Darla Biel, past Chair of the Brookings Public Arts Commission.

This is the first musical playground in the city.

“Music is such an important part of development and growth but also if we are talking about mental health and playing and being able to even get outside and enjoy, like we know the importance of music and play and we were glad to facilitate this,” Ragsdale said.

“Children learn by doing. And they learn in all different types of areas of life kinetically. If they are touching, if they are doing if they are participating, they tend to be more involved, more interested, and music of course has a very fascinating and very scientifically proven influence on a child’s ability to learn in other subject. So we just think this is a win-win for the whole community and we certainly hope that the children in Brookings will enjoy it,” Norton said.

It includes percussion instruments such as drums, bells, and xylophones. There are also musical notes and a piano painted on the cement.

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