New tune for old piano

KELVIN TEIXEIRA
Last updated 15:28 15/02/2013
Levin piano
In the key of free: King’s Sound Centre owner Paul King tinkles the ivories on the free-to-play piano.

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An old piano has a new lease of life on a footpath outside a Levin music shop.

Every fine working day it is wheeled out from King's Sound Centre and offered for people to play music - or sometimes ''music'' - entertaining and amusing people walking by.

Owner Paul King said they had bought the piano from one of their customers in December and recently sold it to another local customer, Diana Yee, who then donated it back to the shop to make available somehow to the community.

''We think it's fantastic. Very community spirited,'' he said.

The idea was to place it out the front of the shop for public use and Mr King said there has been a favourable response.

''We've heard nothing but positives about it,'' he said.

''It livens up the street and creates some atmosphere, as well as exposing musical talent. Sometimes there'll be bystanders singing and dancing along. It's great to see.''

The German-made Schiedmayer and Soehne piano is estimated to be well over 100 years old.

''You can tell because you can see where the tiny holes, which have been filled in, used to be where the candlestick holders would have been - before there was power,'' Mr King said.

''It was a very good piano in its day.''

Mr King said all they have done is put wheels on it to make it easier to move in and out of the shop and tape a note to the front of the piano with the message: ''If you know how to play then make our day. Please don't be mean to me as I am old. Take care and share.''

Mr King said they have had people playing simple tunes like ifChopsticks nf and others playing impressive classical and jazz pieces.

''But even some talented people are a bit shy to play in public, because they have never done it before.''

Passionate about celebrating and taking pride in living and working in Levin, Mr King suggested town centre businesses could all put out an item of interest on the footpath at the same time and ''make a day of it''.

Mr King's next plan is to secure a money box to the piano for people to make donations, which will then go to local charities.

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- Horowhenua Mail

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