Today when I took my son to school and walked him in, I realized that there was classical music coming from the sound system. Had they always played it? If so, this was the first time that I noticed it.
How important is music when you entertain in your outdoor rooms? Amongst the banter and happy play, it may seem un-needed. And if you have a water feature of some kind in your outdoor room that splashes, drips or otherwise adds natural sounds, you may not want to overrun the serenity of that.
But if like most of us, you think a small stereo in the corner or even music coming from the house might add to your entertaining time, choose with the following in mind:
- The age group that you are entertaining and the era from which they come. For children, choose popular kid movie hits or fun kid songs. For teens, choose pop or rock that is calm enough to not bother any adults alongside. For adults, the variety is huge. While some prefer classical, others are country, 50’s, gospel or pop—so you might find that your best choice is variety. In my experience, favorite movie soundtracks help to provide for all tastes, as well as adding great conversation starters. ("No way, is that Mary Poppins? That was my all-time favorite movie!")
- Consider your capabilities as host or hostess to change CD’s and keep the music going. Best yet, choose a CD player that plays more than one CD and load it up with a variety so you won’t suddenly realize that the music has been done for over an hour while you were slaving over the grill. Another option—put someone else in charge of the music (or the grill).
- Consider visual. Although I am usually in favor of turning the electronics off during gatherings, some have used music videos effectively to create both background music and entertainment. Especially for the teen set, you might want to bring the TV out on the enclosed porch or set it up close to your outdoor room.
- Consider live music. Wild, huh? Well, not as much as you might think. Local musicians and bands can be a lot of fun—and you will help show your support for them by inviting them over to share a few pieces. Again, just match your age group with the type of music and make sure you ask the musicians what they need from you and what kind of area that they need set up. Many will do it without a stage and some might even do it for dinner. Some might prefer to be background music while others want to be the show. Either way, ask if there is a charge and if there is not, tip them anyway. It’s good form.