Call for public pianos to be placed in public spaces like bus and train stations in Yorkshire

Piano should be installed in public places like bus and train stations to help increase people’s access to music, according to a Bradford councillor.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) believes the move would allow more people to enjoy musical instruments that might be beyond their income, and refers to the popularity of Channel Four’s The Piano.

Cllr Sunderland will raise the issue at a Bradford Council meeting on Tuesday evening, when she will also urge the council to make sure children in care don’t just see themselves as a number.

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Her question to Council bosses is inspired by the latest series of the popular TV contest, where members of the public impress judges by playing a piano located in a busy rail station.

The first series of the Claudia Winkleman fronted show was held at Leeds Station, with the most recent series taking place in Liverpool Lime Street Station.

During each series viewers hear the often inspiring stories behind the players.

The most recent series was won by Brad – a Liverpool teen who grew up in foster care.

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In her question at full Council, Cllr Sunderland will call for better access to musical instruments for Bradford’s children in care, and suggests pianos are installed in bus and train station – like in The Piano.

Her question says: “The recent final of Channel Four’s The Piano was won by a young pianist from Liverpool called Brad who was brought up in care.

“As he sat to play his own composition that was to win him Performance of the Night, he said he wanted to show people ‘what a number can do.’

“Can the Portfolio Holder and Leader assure elected members that not one child in the care of this authority would ever think that they were a number, that every child in care has access to a musical instrument and that in the train and bus stations, and other public spaces, pianos are placed so people can perform for the enjoyment of others?”

The meeting takes place in City Hall at 4pm.

Later this year Bradford will host the Leeds International Piano Competition at St George’s Hall.

The event, held every three years, is expected to attract some of the finest pianists in the world.

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