The piano in Bourbong Street is more than just music to the ears of Muriel Pickworth, the instrument has also provided her with a connection to the community.
The piano was first introduced to the Bundaberg CBD as part of a public art installation, and after it struck a chord with visitors it soon became a permanent fixture in 2019.
Muriel said for her, the community piano wasn’t just a bunch of keys, peddles and music.
It has provided the 85-year-old with a place where she can both reminisce for herself and entertain others.
She has been playing the piano in the Bundaberg CBD for some time and said the experience had provided her with the opportunity to branch out with other pianists.
“I met a gentleman, who also likes to play the piano, while I was playing,” she said.
“This is where it all started here – we met at this piano – now we go along and play duets for the old folks at aged care homes.
“Without this community piano that project definitely wouldn’t have happened.”
Muriel said playing the piano was just like riding a bike, once you knew how, you would never forget.
“I learnt when I was younger but I hadn’t played the keyboard or piano for years, and now whenever I get the chance I come along and play,” she said.
“I come down here once or twice a week to play here in town, well my son brings me here as I don’t drive, I enjoy it so very much.
“I play at lunch time and people will come and sit down and have a listen and sometimes a chat – people in will sit in the stand and others come in wheelchairs and sit close by.
“I know hundreds of songs and they are all in my head – the old songs they don’t disappear, do they!”
Muriel excited to play new piano
Bundaberg Regional Council and the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre will soon replace the current piano with a new instrument following generous donations from local families.
Three pianos in good working order have been donated to Council meaning that not only can the currently damaged piano be replaced, but there are two more ready and waiting to be installed if and when needed.
After hearing the news, Muriel said she looked forward to performing for the community during the busy lunch time in the future and she hoped the new piano would be cared for by locals.
The community is invited to attend the launch of a new piano in the Bundaberg CBD, which will include performances from local pianists.
The launch will be held at midday on Friday 24 March.