Pianos for People to Mark 200th Delivery Tomorrow
Pianos for People, the nonprofit organization that connects people who need pianos with pianos that need people, will deliver its 200th refurbished piano tomorrow (Tues., Aug. 15) to Bethany Riley-Cable, a talented and committed 15-year-old pianist, at her home in Rockwood.
Practicing for years on a small wobbly keyboard, without the preferred standard 88 keys, Riley-Cable has still managed to achieve Superior standings in National Federation of Music Clubs competitions and is about to embark on learning her first concerto. Her piano marks the 200th delivery made by the nonprofit organization since its inception in 2012.
"It is life stories such as Bethany's that continue to motivate and inspire us to provide free quality instruments and lessons to those who could not otherwise afford them," said Sheena Duncan, executive director of Pianos for People. "A piano is more than just a piano. It can be an agent of change and inspiration for people, and we see this again and again in our work with these young people."
This milestone marks a number of key achievements for the organization, including its recent recognition as the 2017 Arts Innovator of the Year award by the Arts & Education Council. In addition to the piano delivery program, the organization's piano school on Cherokee Street offers free lessons to more than 100 students, as well as an increasing number at the organization's Ferguson satellite studio. In July, through a grant from Mastercard, Pianos for People initiated a Music Production camp for students this summer. The hands-on classes allowed students the opportunity to create and produce their own music on 12 new iPads in a classroom. The request for the program was generated by interest expressed on behalf of the students.
"We were thrilled to be able to respond to their desire for more intense musical instruction," Duncan said. "These students expressed a keen interest in having the ability to create their own music, and the resulting music lab adds a new and timely dimension to our programming."
About Pianos for People
Pianos for People was established in December 2012 as a service connecting unwanted pianos to individuals and families who could not otherwise afford one. The organization collects, restores and delivers an average of one piano a week. In the fall of 2014, Pianos for People opened a teaching space on Cherokee Street to provide free piano lessons to the community. Pianos for People now offers group classes for a variety of ages, private lessons to advanced students, open rehearsal time for anyone to stop in and play, piano camps and community events - all for free. Pianos for People breaks down the financial barriers that keep many families from providing music lessons for their children - something that has been proven to increase IQ, creativity, critical thinking and focus among a long list of other essential skills for success. The free pianos bring music into homes, inspiring creativity and strengthening family bonds, and create a community of support and respect. For more information, please visit pianosforpeople.org, or follow us on Facebook (PianosforPeople) or Twitter (#PianosForPeople).