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Of Parks and Pianos

Seattle is known for many things. Music, coffee, rain. Good scenery and great parks. And this summer, you can combine all of it.

How? Pianos in the Parks.

From July 17 to August 17, twenty pianos will occupy twenty King County parks. Anyone can play them. It doesn’t matter if you’re tone-deaf or classically trained, two years old or ninety-two—you can play these pianos without anyone judging you. It’s a fun excuse to make music and spend time outside, but that’s just the tip of this iceberg.

This is a public-private partnership between some of the region’s best music and arts organizations, and they’ve pulled out all the stops. It’s a labor of love from local business and local art, and it’s doing a lot of local good:

Pianos in the Parks celebrates local art

Take a look at these:

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The pianos were tuned by Classic Pianos and decorated Gage Academy of Art students.

Pianos in the Parks gives everyone access to music

That includes people who could not otherwise afford to play: down-on-their-luck music hobbyists, homeless ex-musicians, people caught in one of life’s rough transitions. This project levels the socioeconomic playing field.

Pianos in the Parks encourages emerging local talent

There is a performance component to it, and even if you already know about the pianos, you might not know about this:

“Ever wanted KEXP to hear your band’s latest song or the Symphony to fall in love with how you play Mozart? Or perhaps you’ve taken piano for years and have always dreamed about taking center stage. If so, this is the contest for you.

Enter our Facebook video contest between July 17 – August 17 for a chance to perform on Friday, August 22, at the Concerts at the Mural presented by KEXP and Seattle Center. The top five ‘liked’ performances on Facebook will be voted on by a community panel of judges, with the winner selected to perform.”

Pianos in the Parks gets people outside

It gets people into the parks they already know and then, in the style of stamps and baseball cards, it gets them into the parks where they’ve never been before. Collect them all. Once you see one piano—once you play music on a piece of artwork in a beautiful park, drinking your coffee between songs and enjoying the view, you’ll want to see as many of them as you can before they all disappear on August 17. That’s what happened to us, anyway.

Click the map to go to http://pianosintheparks.com

Click the map to go to pianosintheparks.com

Bonus: Pianos in the Parks supports Seattle parks

After the pianos play their last notes on August 17, they still have an encore. All the pianos will be auctioned off, and the proceeds will go to Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP, and Gage.