Instrument soothes and distracts

Piano_Olson

Photo by: Nic Olson Lexy Schoessler and Bryce Fager Play the piano in the PUB.

Piano_Olson

Photo by: Nic Olson
Lexy Schoessler and Bryce Fager Play the piano in the PUB.

Written By Paul Sell

Staff Reporter

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One of the most well known symbols of EWU is the large red and white grand piano located in the heart of the PUB, which everyone is allowed to play.

The music that emanates from this instrument can be heard throughout the building, whether it is during the busiest lunch hour or the quietest evening. During one school day, countless students will try their hand at this musical symbol, all with varying levels of experience.

“It’s very relaxing,” said Alexandra Cox. “I think it’s a nice way of enhancing the atmosphere in here. People will come in and they’ll play a piece and it’s nice to just sit there and listen to something besides other people’s conversations.”

Other students, like Garrett Jutte, prefer to listen to music while eating or doing homework in the PUB, and this piano gives students that kind of opportunity.

“It’s always nice to have some sort of background music,” said Jutte. “A lot of people are eating or talking and it’s nice to get a groove going. Plus, a lot of different people play on it, so there are a lot of different types of music that I get to hear.”

When it comes to the music students, the PUB piano provides them with an even bigger opportunity to pursue their talents outside of class while also meeting new people to discuss music, even if some feel the piano needs a tune-up.

“[The piano] helps to serve as a focal point for socialization,” said Brian Loop, who tries to play the piano every other day. “It gives an entirely different atmosphere, as opposed to everywhere else which is devoid of music, here you can discover new people, have new ideas, new themes, just stuff floating around and it’s really cool to see what comes out of it.”

However, even the music students who are behind the PUB piano pointed out the problems that this instrument poses to students.

“You get people who just like to plink the keys,” said Joel Hetrick, who likes to play the piano a couple times a week. “They think it’s great, and it is, but this isn’t always the place for hitting keys randomly when you don’t know how to play and others are trying to study.”

Some students believe that the piano has been nothing but an annoyance and distraction to other activities, such as studying and conversing with friends.

“I find the piano to be noisy [because] it’s available to everybody,” said Anthony Sowder. “It’s always going. There’s always someone on it.”

Other students, such as Keanu Williams, like to have lunch while they study for an upcoming class. As such, the main section of the PUB becomes a hot place to go, yet the piano can get in the way of that.

“If the piano wasn’t here, it wouldn’t be a big deal to me,” said Williams. “When I’m trying to do my homework, it can be very annoying. When it’s playing, I can’t really concentrate.”

For students like Sowder and Williams, the conflict of the piano and studying is one that can be solved rather easily by implementing a few rules for the instrument.

“Maybe only have certain hours, like early in the morning or late at night,” said Sowder. “Or maybe when it’s going to be loud anyway, when the PUB is really [busy].”

While there are both benefits and drawbacks to having the piano in the PUB, it seems that most students can agree that having the instrument on campus adds an extra note of environment and uniqueness to Eastern.

“If they removed the piano, half of my reasons to come here would be gone,” said Sarah Strain. “The piano is meant [to be] here for anyone’s enjoyment and I think anyone in general can play it. But, if you’re not good then you should keep it down.”