Sound Garden

Outdoor Exhibit
Opens at 10:00 am
Year-Round

Experiment with the science of sound as you roam through our newest addition to Gateway Park, Sound Garden. Discover how beautifully tuned instruments can pair with familiar materials to create a unique soundscape perfect for inspiring creativity in musicians of all ages and abilities.

Exploring musical instruments like those in Sound Garden is a wonderful way to help young children develop fine and gross motor skills—grasping a mallet to make a pleasing note promotes strong hand-eye coordination and tactile proficiency. Aspiring and expert musicians alike are invited to experiment with rhythm, resonance, and the relationships of sounds as they explore instruments from around the globe.

This exhibit features a fully-accessible stone path and is located in Gateway Park.


A young girl taps a mallet against a metal drum called a tongue drum

Try a Tongue Drum

Explore a set of tongue drums custom designed for this exhibit by local musician and builder Matthew Young and artist and metalworker, Andrew Preiss. Don’t worry, despite the name these musical marvels are played using your hands, not your mouth!

A close-up of a xylophone made entirely out of wrenches

Create Unique Music

Grab a friend and play a tune on our pentatonically-tuned amadinda—an ancient wooden instrument originating from Uganda, Africa. Or a try your hand at a wrench-o-phone, a xylophone made of entirely of wrenches.

A father and sun experiment with a type of bell that looks like a large bowl

Experiment with Sound

Many of the Sound Garden instruments can be played in different ways, resulting in different sounds. Use a wooden then a rubber mallet on the agogo bells, how does the sound change?


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