Wouldn’t it be great if one day when you were wandering through a public garden you came across a secluded piano where you could sit down and make beautiful music? Well, this week I had a chance to visit several pianos set in different locations around San Francisco’s Botanical Gardens. I saw a quite a few people—from children to professional pianists- making music there.
Even though this is the first time I’ve seen any of the Pianos in Public Places, it is not a new ideas. According to a Wikipedia article, the idea of Pianos in Public Places originated by accident in Sheffield, England. The first piano was originally left on the sidewalk temporarily because the owner could not get it up the steps into his new house. As an experiment the owner and a friend then attached a sign inviting passersby to play the piano for free. So many people took advantage of the offer, that the piano became a community attraction.
In the last ten years, several cities around the world have placed pianos in public places and invited people to play or to listen. There are public pianos in Paris, London, New York, Toronto, and many other cities.
The pianos in the Botanical Gardens took various forms–some of them very strange and new, but all of them fun.
During a week when so much of the news is bad—I suggest that you try the music cure. If you live anywhere near a city with public pianos, visit them and join the fun! We all need beauty in our lives and music and flowers are among the best ways to find beauty.