Practice Pianos MIA

By Anna Holmquist

When I was approached by Sasha to write an opinion piece about the practice pianos being moved from Eaton Chapel to the Hendricks Center, she told me she’d previously talked to other students.  They were complaining about the pianos, but when she asked them to write something for The Round Table, they said they didn’t care that much. People complain a lot, but the problem is that hardly anybody does anything; if we want change, we have to make it.

So you can choose.  You can sit here for four years, complaining about the Hendricks Center and the meal plan and what have you.  Or you can try and do something about it. Our college is only as good as we make it. If we all rise together to change something, we cannot be stopped.

The first thing I want to change is the piano situation.  The Hendricks Center was a generous donation.  It’s great that we have a new facility to use.  But there are some fundamental problems that indicate the situation was not well thought out: There are no drinking fountains downstairs by the practice rooms. We’ve been warned against walking downtown by ourselves at night.

The Hendricks Center closes at 10 p.m.  After that, students have to use the piano in Pearsons or one of the residential-side pianos, of which there are only a few, none of which are well-maintained. The practice rooms in Eaton are sitting empty and idle.

The Hendricks Center is farther away.  I used to be able to stop into Eaton between classes or after lunch for 15 minutes of playing.  That’s impossible now.

When I visited Ann Davies last semester to chat about the movement of the pianos, she assured me that in a few years, it wouldn’t matter, since no one would remember when the pianos were in Eaton Chapel. She seemed to think it was an issue of laziness. I assure you, I am not concerned about walking a bit farther. It is quality of space and safety than concern me, along with the distinct feeling that this move was not well thought out.

I want some pianos put back into Eaton Chapel in addition to the ones in the Hendricks Center. I want the practice rooms in Eaton open until eleven. I want the pianos on the residential side, such as the one in Aldrich, fixed and maintained.

Pianos have to be available for students to use. A piano is not something that can be stuck in a dorm room or brought from home. If Beloit doesn’t provide easy access to good pianos, they make it much more difficult for students to practice and do their homework. It is essential that we provide easy access to quality pianos for all students.



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