New “floating piano” invites music between classes

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Roaming in the halls of Townsend Harris, there is now a “floating piano” traveling from floor to floor, courtesy of the music department. During non-instructional time, THHS invites teachers and students alike to engage in impromptu performances.

Music teacher Kevin Heathwood explained that he found the piano in storage while advising SING practice, and credits science teacher Joel Heitman for the floating piano idea. He stated, “It’s a great spotlight for people who love to play piano, and I think it’s great that we’ve created a creative outlet for students.”

Assistant Principal of Guidance Veronica York explained that studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between music and high level academics, and she thinks that the piano will yield positive effects for students and faculty alike. 

In addition to Ms. York’s understanding that music supports student learning, many students have also expressed that the floating piano is a way to forget about the pressures of schoolwork. 

Sophomore Avary Kwai said, “I think [the floating piano] was a good idea since people love music and it brings out some positivity in such a tiresome environment of school.”

Sophomore Juney Liu agreed,  “[The floating piano] offers a way to alleviate stress in between classes and I often see crowds around the piano because of how eager everyone is to be able to listen to others play as well as try it out for themselves.” 

Although some students might not play the piano, the floating piano seems to have piqued their interests. 

“Personally, I wouldn’t use the [floating] piano because I can’t play piano, but it’s fun to see what other people can play when passing by in the hallways,” expressed freshman Maddie Cannon. She continued,  “[The piano] shows that even though we aren’t an arts school, we care about students’ creative expression.”

Senior Georgia Malo, on the other hand, pointed out a potential con to the floating piano experience. “It’s nice to hear music when moving in the halls but it gets drowned out by all the noise [of the halls].”

Ms. York concludes by encouraging Harrisites to visit the piano and show off their skills. She said, “If the floating piano frees peoples’ minds from the stress of Townsend Harris like I hope, then it will have done its work.” 

Photo by Rachel Lin.