Pioneering Street Pianos: Instrument of change


From Glasgow to London, from New York to San Jose 1,900 pianos destined for landfill are being placed on the streets of 60 cities worldwide. Luke Jerram launched this project in 2008. It was called 'Play me, I'm Yours.' From this movement the documentary Instrument of change was created. Instrument of change  follows the stories of the extremely talented and creative people that play these pianos and all the wonderful memories and experience that the pianos have gifted to them. This piano movement is an platform for strangers to interact and connect with each other. Jools Holland said 'You don't need language, you can communicate without using these blunt instruments that we call words... but music rises above all of that because you can communicate with sound.' 


One of the most memorable contributors in Instrument of change is Micheal aka 'The piano man' a homeless man who lives for playing the piano as he 'eats, sleeps and plays the piano.'  He loves to share his music and help others. He especially loves playing to the younger ones as he believes they 'understand music better' he says. Music is his medicine as he puts it, 'the piano heals me.'

Fabio, another talent contributor who loves and is inspired by Micheal, travels all over the world to play these street pianos. He's played 770 public pianos across the globe and is still going. 

Together is calling for people to play Christmas songs to bring everyone together in this festive season. Together is teaming up with the campaign to End Loneliness to tackle the issue of loneliness in the UK. There are 4 million lonely elderly people in the UK and many of these people will spend Christmas alone. 

'Instrument of change' premieres on Together on Saturday 15th December 9pm and repeats again on Christmas Day also at 9pm. 

 Freeview 93, Sky 173, Virgin 269 and Freesat 164. 



Comments (2)

  1. Fe 1 year 7 months ago

    This is fantastic! In July we had The Leeds International Piano Festival which involved placing 12 decorated pianos around the city centre. Our art group from Leeds Art Gallery were asked to decorate one. The pianos created a piano trail which I decided to explore, starting with our own piano where I met a musician called Fergus who taught himself to play on one of the piano situated in a shopping arcade. I wondered how many other people had taught themselves on public pianos and set out to find out . I filmed Fergus playing some freestyle compositions on a few of the pianos on the trail and as I went along the trail met other piano players from all kinds of backgrounds. I asked them their "piano stories" and they were all happy to share them. I had the most wonderful encounters with random strangers whom I never would have met if it wasn't for the pianos set up in The Piano Trail. Placing an instrument like a piano in a public space for everybody to experience is beautiful and the results are magical. The music, the interactions, the playfulness, the sharing, the creativity, the sheer fun if it all. All of these elements raised the frequency in the environment and opened people up. A lot of the pianos were left in their locations due to people requesting that they become a permanent feature. The enhancement to daily life is evident and tangible. When people are given the space to be creative, especially via music, like with an instrument they will come to it. Build it and they will come! As with the pianos....PROVIDE IT AND THEY WILL PLAY!

    I thoroughly look forward to this documentary on the wonderful TOGETHER TV!

  2. TogetherTVAdmin 1 year 7 months ago

    Thanks for your lovely comment, Fe! Really appreciated.

    Please feel free to spread the word on your social media channels, by sharing our posts on Twitter, Facebook (available later today) and Instagram :)

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