“I love changing people’s perspective.
It’s what I enjoy most about running this project.
People are used to seeing pianos looking a certain way, in a certain environment, played by certain type of performer.
What I can do by putting these pianos throughout the streets is allow people to see and experience music differently. They also experience each other and the city differently when these pianos are around. It’s kind of magical.
Most folks think they know what they can expect from their friends, coworkers, even strangers.
You may think you know by the look someone whether or not they are a musician, a pianist or artist. What we’ve found year after year is how people are friends, or work alongside each other for years and not know how much that person is a musician and can play the piano. We’ve seen year after year how people without a home or much of anything to their name can still sit down and play Mozart, the entire Beatles catalogue or create something beautiful using this instrument, this tool that can express the things inside that can’t always be spoken.
When these situations happen, that street corner is no longer just a street corner. It is a living room where you’re enjoying/experiencing the creation of music right in front of you and seeing a side to someone you wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise.
The downtown courtyard isn’t just a courtyard, it’s now a community space where people living in the park and living in high-value homes interact and see each other differently.
Those are the beautiful, ethereal moments that make all the effort totally worth it.
I believe the donations have been streaming in because people want to see their piano used and loved; the design community has taken to this project because they love to see the people interact with their art, what has become “their piano”, and they love to see the piano interact with its environment… whether it’s a busy street corner or the top of Mt. St. Helena.
It continues to amaze me how many folks out there can play this instrument. I hear it each year from so many locations, businesses, park managers that they can’t believe how many folks can play and play well. And from folks you would look and never think that they could sit down at a piano and play Chopin. I remember that no sooner had we placed a piano on the bus mall last fall, a group of young boys went skateboarding down the street and one of them stopped, walked over, sat down and started playing Fur Elise.
Within seconds my perspective on who this kid was flipped 180 degrees and I try to remember that same feeling whenever I interact with people as I go about my everyday life. I remember that you never know what’s lying underneath a person. And if my project can help people reach/communicate/understand each other a little better than I feel like I’ve succeeded.”
Megan Diana McGeorge, Founder Piano!Push!Play! – Portland, OR