To artist Luke Jerram, putting old pianos on streets around the world is a way to bring people together. His Play Me, I’m Yours project started in 2007, when he placed 15 street pianos across the city of Birmingham in the UK. The project attracted the interest of about 140,000 people in that city during a three-week period. Seeing the success of his work, Jerram later took Play Me, I’m Yours on the road in 2008, and it has been growing ever since. It has been estimated that over the last seven years, more than six million people have either played a street piano or gathered to listen to someone playing one in a total of 45 cities around the world.
The old pianos have been set up in parks, train stations, markets, and many different public spaces. Jerram said he got the idea by watching people doing their laundry at a store and not talking to each other. He thought playing the piano was a great way to get people talking to each other and enjoying each other’s company. As it turns out, he was quite right about that.