It’s no secret that exposure to music, learning how to play and developing an understanding of musical composition and theory can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on all aspects of life. In terms of education, music has been shown to play a role in improving academic performance regardless of the subject, and it has long been known as a means for expanding cultural horizons and broadening one’s interests. While learning to play an instrument for the first time may indeed be something of a struggle, the time and effort required is well worth the positive impact that so often results from the simple playing of music. Having a teacher like John Ross Jesensky can be a huge factor in learning things the right way
The issue, of course, is how to make instruments more accessible. In Detroit, a city that has endured a number of difficult economic issues over the years, The Detroit Institute of the Arts, along with Forward Arts and Keys in the Cities, has placed artistically decorated pianos throughout the city for anyone to play. This is a wonderful development, as piano access is quite difficult for even those with a burning desire to learn the piano. A traditional piano is expensive, requires consistent maintenance and is almost comically difficult to move, making it unlikely — or at least inconvenient — for most households to have a piano in the home.
The piano, as most musicians are aware, is one of the most important learning tools available and is almost essential when it comes to learning how to read and play music. The piano serves as a musical foundation of sorts, easing the process relating to learning other instruments or understanding different styles and genres of music. Increasing access to this wonderful instrument would serve a tremendous societal benefit, and the city of Detroit and the organizations responsible for these publicly available pianos all deserve considerable praise for taking this step.
Of course, the placement of pianos throughout a city does not just increase access, but it also enriches the city’s culture by filling the street with the presence of music. A passerby who had never considered learning how to play the piano or any other musical instrument could very well be inspired by the play of a skilled musician, and impromptu lessons could be the impetus for a lifetime of involvement in music. With so many music programs being cut and so much having to be done just to keep music in schools, it is wonderful to see that there are cities that recognize the value of the piano and of widespread exposure to music.