It was one of those days. I got to work and realized I had forgotten something in my apartment, so I headed home in that lull just after rush hour when there is a temporary quietness in the streets. As an avid urbanist, I try to take the bus when I can to see the sights (or when I’m in the time-frame to get a free subway to bus transfer). As I walked to the bus stop at Alice Tully Hall, I noticed one of the 28 baby grands in Sing for Hope’s PopUpPiano initiative in the outdoor streetside ampitheater. But it wasn’t being played and had a sad rain cover on top of it. It could have been mistaken for a construction zone.

I went over as if to rescue a friend from plight, and decided to play some tunes. I was trained at Juilliard for cello and even though piano was my first instrument, I am severely out of practice. There was no way I would be able to improvise for long so luckily there was a book of music attached to the piano! A college student from Wesleyan who grew up on the Upper West Side then came by. He knew some impressive pieces by heart and we were now fully able to get started. And then another man came by and was pretty excited when I told him he could play it too, that it was for everybody. He started punching out pieces ranging from Fiddler on the Roof to Swan Lake to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I had to smile because of course near Lincoln Center, there mere passerby would have some incredible music talent deep within. Later that afternoon on my way home, the amphitheater was full and another very talented pianist was at the helm.

The backdrop of the new Lincoln Center was perfect–I thus apologize for my not so perfect video taking skills!

Check out Mayor Bloomberg playing a pop-up piano!

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.


  1. […] michelle young This week, the pop-up piano installation/invasion makes it to Paris after stints in New York, London,  Sà£o Paulo and other cities. Adorably named, “Play Me I’m Yours,” the […]

  2. miryam says:

    That’s my brother! In the first video!!!!

    • michelle young says:

      That’s awesome! I ran into him there and have been meaning to email him to tell him the article is up!

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