A week ago or so a brightly coloured piano arrived on the street near my home. It sat there, a small enigma, as I wondered who exactly would pay to put a piano on a busy street. As I walked past it there would regularly be somebody pounding away at the keys, somebody who was clearly not a professional performer but rather just a person who wandered by and felt the desire to crack out a tune.
These folks arrived just before I took the picture and sat down to play "Mary had a little lamb" for a minute before wandering away again. Despite the fact that many people have keyboards and pianos in their homes that site mute, unused, there seems to be a deep seated need in the populace to use some of those long forgotten piano lessons on the street corner on a public piano.
I love it. I took piano lessons but I can't produce anything from memory anymore; I am afraid that to make pleasing sounds I would need at least some sheet music and some time to shake off the rust. Nonetheless I very much approve of such strange little gestures as it helps generate feelings of community and spontaneous artistic expression. Brightly coloured pianos scattered about a city are a great way to make that city a better place to live.
I find it heartening that people create such wonderful little surprises now and then. I spend a lot of time reading forums and news sites and I think those leave me with a negative outlook on things; finding things like this helps remind me that there are rays of sunshine no matter how cloudy the day appears.
You can read a little more about the source of these pianos at www.streetpianos.com