High school will lose pianos for students

January 5, 2010 9:08:41 PM PST
How do you teach music when there aren't enough pianos for your students? That's the reality for one local high school as they will lose more than half of their pianos on Wednesday morning. At HISD's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, it is almost never quiet.

"The piano playing literally does not stop for one second," said Piano Director Rodolfo Morales.

But the pianos on which students practice will soon be harder to come by.

"It's going to be even a little bit more competitive," said senior Chynna Robicheaux.

For the last two years, the school has had an agreement with a local piano store. It provided 20 pianos, but because of financial reasons the store has had to end the agreement which means on Wednesday all these pianos will be moved out.

Gone will be the new acoustic pianos students have grown accustomed to.

"They're well-tempered, each key is even," said Robicheaux.

For the time being, a few older ones will bridge the gap, but the school needs 11 more.

"This one is the kind of piano that is going to keep us afloat," said Morales. "A music department cannot exist without pianos."

To accommodate the hundreds of students who use them.

"This is bigger than just the piano department. The music department as a whole won't be able to function and flow without pianos," senior Aly Haddad.

HSPVA is appealing to the community for donations in cash or pianos.

"Even if it's old and raggedy and beat up, that's okay, because it will keep one pianist playing, one vocalist singing one violinist strumming. Every little bit helps," said Robicheaux.

Even short the pianos, the music won't stop. The practice rooms may just be empty.

"There simply would not be enough instruments," said Morales.

The piano director told us people have offered electric keyboards, but he says when you're teaching, there is a big difference between a keyboard and an acoustic piano. Right now they have seven, but they'd like to get to a total of 18.