Aaron Beeler, a Professor of Chemistry at Boston University, got the idea to apply for a piano after the 2013 series dropped a piano in front of his office window at BU. “I was so intrigued how it brought people together, and there was someone always playing it,” explains Beeler. “And my wife is a musician, so I have some appreciation for musical arts, so when it was announced that applications were being accepted for the 2016 series, I thought how great it would be to have a piano that represents the scientific community of Boston, that we could appreciate how much of a part of the city the sciences are,” he said.
Beeler took his idea one step forward and engaged his graduate students in the project, who in turn took the project social. “Nearly all chemists have a favorite molecule, so my students Alexis Young and Gabrielle Fleming really ran with that idea and created some great buzz by asking people what their favorite molecule was and why. We got a lot of responses from scientists and non-scientists alike,” he explained. “Then we all painted the molecules and the information onto the piano. (We were not allowed to indicate people’s names or affiliations on the piano). We hope that this will be a great exhibition of the beauty of science and also help show people how important chemistry is in nearly all aspects of life,” Beeler said.
From September 23 – October 10, 2016, Street Pianos Boston will feature sixty pianos, decorated by these artists and placed in public outdoor spaces in every Boston neighborhood and select Cambridge locations for the public to play and enjoy. Each piano will feature a simple invitation: “Play Me, I’m Yours.” Beeler and his students’ piano will be on display at the Museum of Science.
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