Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Play Me, I'm Yours"

"Play Me, I'm Yours" piano at the Royal Conservatory
I was downtown this morning for a group information session put together by The Challenge Factory and spent a little one-on-one time afterwards with my "Career Mentor", Lisa Taylor discussing my next moves. (I'll expand on that in a blog post tomorrow with some exciting news.) After we left the L'espresso Bar Mercurio we walked back toward Avenue Rd. along Bloor St. On our way we came upon a piano, sitting outside in the sunshine, next to the steps of the Royal Conservatory building, with the words "Play Me I'm Yours" displayed prominently on its face. A young lad had just finished playing this piano and had stepped away as we approached, his position on the bench being immediately taken up by the woman you see in this picture. I assumed it had something to do with the Conservatory itself, but when I spoke to Sarah about it later she told me that it was part of a much, much larger art project and that there were pianos all over the city of Toronto.

In front of the TIFF Bell Lightbox
credit: Julienne Pascoe
A little digging upon my return home revealed that this is a project that was initiated in 2008 in Birmingham, England by British artist Luke Jerram. In the years since, "more than 600 pianos have now been installed in cities across the globe, from New York to Sydney, bearing the simple instruction ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’", which is the name of the original art project. The global initiative has a website devoted to it using the name "Street Pianos" and I think the whole thing is a truly wonderful idea. The Toronto branch of the project is being used to promote the upcoming Pan-American Games, which will be held here in 2015, as 41 local artists with ties to the countries participating in the Games were commissioned to paint and decorate the instruments before they were officially unveiled last night with a free concert in David Pecaut Square. If you are out and about in Toronto (or Paris or Geneva or Salt Lake City or several other locations) this summer, keep an eye out for these colourful pianos and, if you're up for it, grab yourself a seat and belt out a tune or two - even if you think you can't play like this guy:

You may just surprise yourself.


  1. I've always regretted not knowing how to play the piano. I love some of the decorations on the pianos themselves!

    1. But you're teaching yourself now! That's pretty impressive.


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