Pianos for primary schools
The Carl Bechstein Foundation provides selected primary schools with free pianos to encourage children to start playing as early as possible. All-day schools take precedence as their pupils can practise and attend piano lessons – mostly in conjunction with music schools – in the afternoon. Up to now more than 150 Pianos could be delivered.
Why primary schools?
The project is geared towards primary schools as the Foundation’s aim is to encourage children to play the piano as early as possible. Moreover, many piano teachers deem the ideal time to start learning to be at five or six years of age. In the first phase, the Foundation selected Berlin schools due to Bechstein’s close ties with the city. Children generally start school at the age of five in Berlin and remain there for six years, which is longer than in other German regions. In 2014 the Foundation extended the project to other regions and in november 2017 the 150th piano was delivered.
After the introduction of all-day schools in Berlin, many music teachers complained that children barely had time to attend piano lessons and practise in the afternoons anymore. In light of this, the Carl Bechstein Foundation aims to make it possible for pupils to learn and practise the piano in the schools themselves. As most schools do not own a decent, playable piano and public budgets are usually too tight to purchase any new instruments, however, the Foundation provides all-day schools with pianos free of charge.
In early 2013, the Carl Bechstein Foundation delivered the first two pianos to schools in underprivileged areas of Berlin. The intention was to encourage pupils from poorly educated social groups and give children whose parents are unable to afford an instrument an opportunity to learn to play the piano.
The social aspect, however, is not the main criterion for whether a school receives a piano or not. Unfortunately, even in well-educated social groups it can no longer be taken for granted that parents will encourage their children to learn the piano or, more generally, make music. Therefore, the decisive criteria for allocating a piano to a school are the actual needs and the readiness to promote piano-playing in the long term.
Dedicated headteachers and/or music teachers can apply by sending an e-mail to info(at)carl-bechstein-stiftung.de.