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Music and Art | Seeing Colourful Pianos on My Travels

I started taking piano lessons when I was 8. Piano was quite a difficult subject for me. I have always been musical, but I relied on my ears to pick out melodies more than sight reading. It took me months to learn the songs I would play. Granted I played songs 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. She’ll tell me about being the accompanist for a local production of Company. I’ll go home and try to play “The Ladies Who Lunch.” Then I’ll curse and praise Mr. Sondheim because his songs are brilliant to listen to, but a bitch for me to play.
 
While I don’t play piano for 90 minutes a day like I used to my piano lessons have shaped who I am today. It gave me an appreciation for music, and it helped me growing up. Music lessons offer children a lot of tangible benefits. There are studies show taking music lessons has a kid has many benefits. These benefits go beyond 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 at home too) I’ve noticed colourful street pianos. Most of these are open for the public to play. I don’t know much about art, but I love these piano. They show how music and art can showcased in a public setting. Hearing music outside, or inside, at pretty much any time of the day or night puts me in a better mood. Even if it’s a sad blues song I always love listening to music. Here are a some of the artistic pianos I’ve seen over the past few years.

New York City

An Orange Piano in Times Square in New York City.

An Orange Piano in Times Square in New York City.

New Orleans

Piano in a Souvenir Store in New Orleans.

Piano in a Souvenir Store in New Orleans.

Denver

Purple Piano at the 16th Street Mall in Denver.

Purple Piano at the 16th Street Mall in Denver.

Piano Piano at the 16th Street Mall in Denver.

Piano Piano at the 16th Street Mall in Denver.

A Little Bird Piano in Denver.

This piano in Denver is called A Little Bird.

Animal Cracker piano in Denver.

Animal Cracker piano in Denver. This was my favourite.

Don't Worry Be Happy Piano in Denver.

Don’t Worry Be Happy Piano in Denver.

This piano has Denver’s Union Station painted on the front.

Edmonton

Topos Piano at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

This piano is called Topos. It was at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton promoting a show called 2 Pianos 4 Hands.

Van Gogh Piano at The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton.

The Van Gogh piano at The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. I love the mosaic tiles on the front.

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. This makes me want to sit down at the piano and start practising some songs. Then I’ll be able to play something when I see a public piano.

Things You Should Know

All of these pianos (except the New Orleans one) were public pianos that you could play. The public pianos are available for anyone to sit down and play. That said the pianos themselves may not be in tune. The pianos features in this article  may no longer be at the cities I’ve mentioned. The piano in New York was part of the Play Me I’m Yours street pianos. You can see what city will be hosting their pianos by visiting their website.
If you’re looking to book a hotel during your travels consider doing so here 

Have you seen any colourful pianos on your travels? Which of these is your favourite?


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14 Responses to Music and Art | Seeing Colourful Pianos on My Travels

  1. Mary @ Green Global Travel February 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM #

    I love this post. Who knew that there were so many colorful pianos all over the world? My favorite is the one painted like a box of animal crackers in Denver. So cute! Thanks for sharing.

    • Alouise March 2, 2014 at 2:51 PM #

      That animal cracker piano was my favorite too. It even had the nutritional information painted on the side, although the photos I took of that part didn’t turn out so well.

  2. Jessie Voigts February 24, 2014 at 8:14 PM #

    What FUN!!! I would love to play ANY of them!

    • Alouise March 2, 2014 at 2:52 PM #

      They were so much fun to see, and I’m sure they’d be fun to play too.

  3. Em February 25, 2014 at 7:19 PM #

    Such a great idea, they are in my home town (Melbourne) at the moment.

    http://streetpianos.com/melbourne2014/

    • Alouise March 2, 2014 at 3:05 PM #

      I had heard that some of the pianos tour. Hope you are able to check them out while they’re in Melbourne.

  4. Katie Featherstone February 25, 2014 at 1:12 PM #

    These are great- what a nice idea to allow anyone to play them too!

    • Alouise March 2, 2014 at 2:53 PM #

      Yes. I loved seeing something encouraging public music performance and art.

  5. Laura @Travelocafe February 26, 2014 at 5:53 AM #

    I cannot believe this is real. So many great pianos right there in the middle of the street. Amazing.

    • Alouise March 2, 2014 at 3:07 PM #

      It was very fun to see, and I hope it’s not the last time I see such fun pianos.

  6. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) February 26, 2014 at 6:24 AM #

    What a fun and quirky post! This is a lovely idea! I think there are a couple floating about in London too, though not sure how colourful!

    • Alouise March 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM #

      Even if the pianos in London aren’t that colorful it’s still nice to have something encourage music performance is pretty cool.

  7. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} May 25, 2014 at 10:02 PM #

    This is such a fun way to get music out into public places, and the artsiness of these pianos is an extra special touch. My favorite is the one that looks like a box of animal crackers. I’m not sure if I’ll ever make to leap to decorating my own piano like this, but you’ve planted the seed in my brain. Does it not rain often in Denver? That would be my one concern with an outdoor piano. It wouldn’t last long outdoors in Malaysia.

    • Alouise May 26, 2014 at 3:18 PM #

      I know that animal cracker piano is fantastic. The year I was in Denver it was really dry (there were wildfire warnings for certain areas of Colorado), but I know the pianos are only out during the summer, and I’m sure they get covered up or moved inside when it rains.

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