I started taking piano lessons when I was 8. I was never a concert pianist. Piano was quite a difficult subject for me. I’m very musically inclined, but I always tended to rely on my ears more than my sight. It took months for me to learn some of the songs I would play, although granted I was playing songs a bit more complicated than Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Piano was a major part of my life for about 12 years. My former piano teacher Karen and I still keep in contact, going for coffee every few months. She’ll tell me about being the accompanist for a local production of Company. Then I’ll go home and try to play “The Ladies Who Lunch” and I’ll simultaneously curse and praise Mr. Sondheim because his songs are brilliant to listen to, but a bitch for me to play.
Anyway I digress a bit, but the point was I grew up playing the piano. While I don’t play piano for 90 minutes a day like I used to I believe my piano lessons have shaped who I am today. It gave me an appreciation for music, and it certainly helped me growing up. Music lessons offer children a lot of tangible benefits. There are studies that show taking music lessons has a kid has many benefits, beyond just an appreciation for music. I would say even if you are an adult and you want to take music lessons there are many benefits you will experience.
A few times in my travels (and recently at home too) I’ve noticed colourful street piano in the city that are open for the public to play. I don’t know much about art, but I love these installments that show how music and art can be combined into a public setting. Hearing music outside, or inside, at pretty much any time of the day or night instantly puts me in a better mood. Even if it’s a sad blues song I always want to hear music (by other people – I’m too self-critical to enjoy the experience when I play). Here are just a few of the artistic pianos I’ve seen on my travels in the past few years.
New York City
Not every place I’ve visited has had these public artistic pianos, but I’m glad I’ve been able to see a few of them when I travel. Anything to bring music and arts to the public is a good thing in my opinion. Maybe I’ll open up my piano books and start practicing some songs so I can play one of these artistic pianos the next time I see one on my travel.
Which of these pianos is your favourite?