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The UK Gets Piano Fever

By Michael Vincent on May 1, 2023

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” — Piano.

The piano is making a 21st-century comeback.

The Guardian has reported a surge in piano sweeping the UK, with growing numbers of people taking up the instrument.

The renewed interest first caught the attention of piano retailers reporting strong sales. 

The reason? We can only speculate, but it appears to be a combination of street pianos and the popular TV show “The Piano” contributing to the craze. In addition, popular piano education videos found on YouTube are also helping those interested in learning to play in a more accessible and affordable way. 

Street pianos, TV Shows and Youtube

Outdoor community pianos have become a fixture of urban life in the UK and beyond since the launch of Play Me, I’m Yours in 2008. The program has seen over 2000 street pianos installed in 70 cities worldwide, each encouraging public engagement with the urban environment and the arts through music. The pianos are also decorated by local artists and community groups to promote community connection. 

The program served as the basis for Channel 4’s recent talent search program, The Piano. The TV talent search show, which includes piano superstar Lang Lang as a judge, showcases amateur pianists from across the UK performing on the street pianos around London.

Celebrity endorsements

Lang Lang’s foundation also launched its music education program, Keys of Inspiration UK, centred on the piano, in London in September. The program plans to expand to more schools later this year.

Taking notes

The resurgence of piano playing in the UK highlights the power of technology and public initiatives in making classical music more accessible and appealing to a broader audience. This trend could potentially inspire other countries to adopt similar investments to help create a new generation of pianists and classical music enthusiasts.

Michael Vincent
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