One instrument in the park has a color-coded book of songs to play ranging from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to “Bingo.”
By Rosa Willis
If you are walking through Roper Park and wonder where the delightful, melodic sounds are coming from, the new addition to the Rotary Peace Park is your answer.
A ribbon was cut to officially open the Children’s Music Park located behind the Boys and Girls Club Wednesday. The park, courtesy of the Jasper Rotary Club, contains eight brand new, pitched, and weather-tolerant instruments. All the permanently-installed instruments are handicap friendly and fun for kids of all musical abilities.
Regina Martin, president of the Jasper Rotary, emphasized that the park is for all children of all ages and reminds the community of the powerful effect music can have on special needs children.
“Music is important,” Martin said. “We’re hoping that this music park will not only be somewhere that children can play safely, but maybe somewhere along the way, it will open up a line of communication for children who may not otherwise have that ability.”
The ribbon cutting took place inside the community center Wednesday due to a drizzly rain, but that did not dampen the spirit of the Rotary members and their president.
Martin told how the idea for the park started as a seed in both her head and her heart. As a musician, Martin envisioned a place where any child can come and express themself through music. “Rotary is community,” the president reminded her audience full of Rotary members, public officials and others from the community.
All eight of the instruments in the park are tuned on the pentatonic scale, meaning that there are no wrong notes. The colorful instruments sound as beautiful as they appear no matter who is holding the mallets to play them.
The music area is located in the larger Roper Park. Each instrument is xylophone-like, and some have color-coded keys and songbooks to offer help with songs. All are easy to play your own songs on.
The Rotary Club is asking for donations to add more to the park. Children’s Music Park Chair Kay Lawrence said, “As you will see today, our park is not quite completed. We still need donations.”