Keys to the City: Boston Needs Your Piano

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Do you own a piano, but it’s holding more dust than rhythm these days? Think you might donate it to an amazing cause? Now’s the time.

Play Me, I’m Yours is debuting in Boston in September, as we reported earlier this year. The concept, implemented in cities around the world in recent years, will install working pianos throughout the city and invite one and all to come play. The project, conceived by artist Luke Jerram, is requesting Bostonians donate their old pianos for the project. The goal is 75, so get those keys to the street.

Working and tunable uprights, whether they be spinets, console, or full-size, will be considered for donation to the project.

I recently interviewed Luke on Piano Barbarians, a conversation I recommend listening to for all those interest in Play Me, I’m Yours, art projects, or creativity.

If you’re considering a donation, but are unsure of the use, consider that many old pianos suffer an unworthy fate: demolition and the dump. Resale prices have plummeted in recent years and a glut of aging instruments are reaching the end of their lifespans. The New York Times published a widely-shared story on this issue last summer. It’s a tough read for the faint of heart.

All the more reason to donate your upright to Street Pianos Boston.

Think you’ve got the gear for the job? Contact Melody Pao at the Celebrity Series of Boston at mp at celebrityseries dot org. Photos or video of the piano is appreciated, along with a description of general condition and the logistics for moving it.