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Music in the Playground


Thanks to a grant from the Boulder Arts Council and the work of Foster Brashear, our Playground has a new musical instrument. Below is Foster’s description of the Paddly-Do:

The PADDLY-DOO is a unique musical instrument.  Fun and easy to play, it is designed specifically for the musical education and artistic expression of young children.
It is comprised of twenty-five attractively colored hollow tubes mounted in a piano-like keyboard arrangement.  It is played with rubber paddles, which are often made from flip-flops!  It is immediately fun to play because it makes pleasing sounds, even with no formal instruction or musical intent.  At the same time, it is also entirely suitable for teaching the basic musical principles of rhythm and pitch.  With little effort, children can easily learn to perform many simple familiar tunes.
Although the name and rainbow colors give it a fun, whimsical nature, it is also a serious musical instrument which produces accurate, well-tuned musical notes over two chromatic octaves.  Indeed, larger versions have been used by respected musicians on the performance stage as well as in recorded works.
The particular version at the New Horizons Cooperative Preschool has been appropriately sized for ease of use by young children.  It has been constructed from materials that are completely weatherproof so it can be kept year-round on the outdoors playground.  It also can be readily brought inside for special teaching sessions.