The "patient" was full of dust and mold, but still students at the Japan Tuning Music Academy in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward agreed they could bring it back to life.
"It was a problem child piano," said Ayumi Nakamura, 30, a student who took part in the rebuilding project.
Now, the piano is one of two black upright pianos that are available for donations. It took 20 or so students about 10 months to repair and tune both.
The oldest piano tuners' training school in Japan, founded in 1980, is accepting applications, for the first time, from potential recipients of pianos repaired by its students as part of its education programs.
The piano that was a "problem child" was manufactured immediately following World War II and was long left unused and neglected. In addition to the stains and dirt, the difference in design from today's standards made rebuilding it all the more difficult.
The instrument's keys were longer, heavier and placed higher. It was a lot of work just to replace the internal parts.
But the students are feeling all the more attached to the piano precisely because of that.
"I would like a recipient who will play it a lot--enough to make up for its long neglect--and cherish it," Nakamura said.
A piano manufacturing firm helped establish the academy, whose repair classes are serious rebuilding efforts.
Scrapped pianos are dismantled and every single part inspected. The keys and strings are replaced, and their bodies cleaned and repainted.
The rebuilt pianos are considered ready for decades of use, just as new pianos are, academy officials said.
The academy has been donating, for several years, rebuilt pianos to establishments in the neighborhood, but the donations have reached most of their probable destinations. The academy has therefore decided to seek applications from a broader audience this time around.
Applicants are asked to contact the academy by phone. The academy will select the recipients after screening how they plan to use the pianos.
Schools, kindergartens, homes for the elderly, and other welfare, education and cultural establishments in the Kanto region are eligible. Transportation fees will be waived if the pianos are to be placed on the ground floor.
The academy will also consider applications from parts of the Tohoku region that were ravaged by last year's Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, although the applicants will be asked to bear the transportation costs because of the distance.
In addition, the academy said that pianos need to be tuned at least once a year. It may send students to tune the donated pianos as part of its training programs.
Call the Japan Tuning Music Academy (0120-410-115) for more information.
- « Prev
- Next »