By Julia Fuller
Hooray, the pianos are here! After a long wait and a lot of effort, the Music Department has finally acquired their new Yamaha pianos for the 2017 fall semester.
Twenty new pianos have just been installed in the department’s Vart building, which is located at the Ocean Campus of City College. The piano collection has been a staple of the department for years and has needed an update since the early 2000s. The update has finally happened this semester and it will benefit students by adding more seats to the classroom, in addition to enhancing the experience provided by the department’s courses.
For the music department, updating the collection has been an expensive and complicated process. A typical Yamaha piano lab can cost up to $100,000 and despite the fact that City College was able to take advantage of a discount, the department was still faced with the task of raising $70,000 in funding to acquire these instruments.
Many City College budgeters tended to divert funds elsewhere, paying no mind to this much needed update to the music department. The college eventually managed to raise the money for the piano lab by soliciting a variety of City College general funds and siphoning money from other areas of the music department that were under budget and had dollars to spare. Some funds were also raised through program review requests for equipment purchases.
Another huge benefit to updating the instruments is that the pianos can now be worked on and repaired with modern day equipment. The instruments that were replaced are so woefully obsolete at this point that they are difficult to repair. The tools necessary are antiquated and difficult to procure. So this piano update isn’t just making the music department a better place to learn, it is also making maintenance and upkeep of the instruments cheaper and more convenient.
“Now we are happy! There is still some work to be done in positioning various wiring especially involving headsets, but meanwhile everyone is thoroughly enjoying these new Yamahas. Plus students and teachers no longer have to endure the high pitched squeal of piano innards wearing out,” Department Chair of Music,Madeline Muellar said.
With new sights ahead the teachers and students are excited to learn with new materials, even the old pianos are being recycled to music theory classes for continued use. Go check out the new pianos or even consider taking a course!