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Group hopes to build ties through music

DUNDEE—Take a stroll down Water Street in Dundee and you may notice a piano sitting in front of the pharmacy.
No, it wasn’t left there by accident and, no, it’s not for sale.  The sign above it explains that it is called “Everyone’s Piano” and it is there for passerby to take a seat and play some music.  Dundee’s Chris and Kim Arnold donated the piano, and it was dropped off Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 24.
Lauren Snyder, Dundee area health improvement project coordinator, explained that the idea is to put a piano in a public area so that anyone who passes by can play it, hopefully bringing people together through music.  She added the plan is to keep the piano outside the Water Street Pharmacy for as long as the weather allows.  Pharmacy staff will cover it up at night, and uncover it in the morning.  The piano is also strategically placed under one of the buildings’ awnings.
Dee Anderson, a member of the Our Town RoCKS improving personal health behaviors committee, found the idea in a magazine at the Presbyterian church.  She explained the same thing happened in different neighborhoods in England.  Anderson said the people behind project “found it created communication across barriers.”
The community improvement group then started looking for a piano to give this project a try in Dundee.  The piano ended up coming from the Arnold family.  Chris explained the about 50 year old piano belonged to his grandmother.
He added his wife’s family had recently given them another piano, so there were two in the house.  Arnold said he talked it over with his family and they thought “it would probably be a great use of the piano.”
“My grandmother would probably love to see people play it in the community,” he added.
Snyder said the Water Street Pharmacy was chosen as the spot for the piano because it had the awnings and it would not block anything in the store’s window.  She explained an early idea was to put it in front of the Crocodile Mercantile, but the store doesn’t have awnings and the piano is tall enough to hide some merchandise in the windows.
Besides the protection from a plastic cover at night and the awning, nothing else will be keeping the piano safe.  Snyder said the improvement group is hoping nothing does happen to the piano, either intentionally or accidentally.
“It’s the risk you take when you do something different,” said Anderson.



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