by Jacob Mattie, Opinions Editor
Three months of in-person classes has been enough to remind us that while asynchronous learning was pretty bad, the asynchronous portion might have been the lesser of the evils. It’s nice to see actual people again, but amidst the stress of neverending deadlines, we might as well be stuck at home. Fortunately, a number of donated pianos now scatter the SFU Burnaby campus. What’s even better is people are actually using them.
Whether people are playing something beautiful or stumbling through a rendition of “Chopsticks” with a friend, the act of playing piano shows the choice of doing an activity that’s not immediately productive. Sure, half the keys don’t work, and many of the pianos are warped out of tune by the changing weather, but that hasn’t stopped our collections of musicians.
Music — or its practice — can now be heard when walking between classes, catching a nap in the rotunda, or even filtering through your classroom window as you write your second midterm of the day. The sounds of the public pianos serve as a delightful reminder that life exists outside of academia, and people have all sorts of diverse talents which extend beyond what is strictly necessary for university. People playing these pianos add joy into others’ lives and a nice ambience for an otherwise grey and gloomy campus.
It’s been great to have the pianos as methods of socialization. Amidst complaints of the lack of a social scene on a commuter campus, the pianos have filled the air with sounds that show this is not the case. The pianos bring a constructive way to vent our creative energies, without the pressures of excelling (one could even argue that this is helped by the broken keys). The accessibility of music encourages something that’s long been missing in the university lifestyle — fun.