An old piano is hopefully the first of many to be given a new lease of life under a quirky plan to bring music to public spaces across the Goulburn Valley.JOHN LEWIS August 22, 2014 4:37am
Music for all: Public Piano Project member Susanne Bennett with Tatura Guides leaders Samantha Crowe and Phyllis Bramley, who knew the piano's original owner Wilma Wilson.
As part of Greater Shepparton City Council’s community leadership program, the Public Piano Project aims to collect unwanted pianos and place them in public areas for people to play.
Project co-ordinator Susanne Bennett said British artist Luke Jerram’s growing artwork involving 1000 pianos installed in public spaces in 37 cities across the world inspired the idea.
Each piano bears a simple instruction ‘‘Play Me, I’m Yours’’.
‘‘It’s about fun. The aim is to transform ordinary spaces into something more lovely and create a different experience. We want people to do a double take,’’ Ms Bennett said.
The project’s first donation has come from Tatura Guides, which has offered a piano no longer used for music badges.
Guides leader Samantha Crowe said the piano had been sitting in the group’s Albert St hall since the 1960s when renowned Tatura music teacher Wilma Wilson used it.
‘‘There’s no-one in Guides who is interested in playing any more — we were going to give it to the woodturners for wood,’’ Ms Crowe said.
She said a chance meeting with Ms Bennett at Dookie Emporium prompted Tatura Guides to donate the old instrument to Shepparton’s Public Piano Project.
‘‘We believe Wilma would have been happy with this decision,’’ she said.
Ms Bennett said Riverview Plaza and Dookie Emporium had already offered to host a public piano. She said project members hoped to move donated pianos to different locations across the district.
‘‘It would be lovely to hear from anyone who wants to donate a piano — or tune one up, or give free lessons,’’ she said.
‘‘The outside doesn’t matter, we could paint it or yarn-bomb it. But it has to be tuneable,’’ she said.
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