Play Me, Tulsa! Returns Pianos to City Streets

Elizabeth Dale

After a forced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Play Me, Tulsa! from rolling out the sophomore year of its community music and art installment, the event returned this month. Play Me, Tulsa! installed six pianos in public spaces throughout Tulsa, encouraging the community to play and enjoy the power of music.

In 2019, a total of 12 pianos donated by Saied Music Company were given new life by students in a partnership with Tulsa Mayfest. Students from surrounding school districts were encouraged to colorfully re-imagine the well-loved pianos and paint new life onto the instruments. The pianos were then placed in public locations throughout the community, and musicians of all ages, abilities, and skills were encouraged to enjoy making music. More on 2019’s Play Me, Tulsa! can be found at, https://www.namm.org/playback/advancing-music-making/saied-music-company-encourages-community-%E2%80%98play-me.

Play Me, Tulsa!

:( Sorry! Your browser cannot play this video either because javascript is disabled or your browser is not HTML5 compatible. Try Chrome or Firefox.

Before March 2020, school art departments were invited to design and paint upright pianos provided by NAMM Member, Saied Music Company. However, the pandemic and subsequent suspension of in-person learning forced a project hiatus for the remainder of the year.

Prior to the pandemic, Saied Music Company collected pianos for students at Bixby High School, Edison Preparatory School, McClure Elementary School, Owasso High School, Sapulpa High School, and Webster High School, and once in-person learning resumed, the students completed their projects as part of Play Me, Tulsa!. “These pianos exemplify how the arts provide inspiration and healing in times of chaos, and they celebrate the determination and resiliency of those that create through art and music, especially poignant this year,” says Kim Koch, Vice President of Saied Music Company.

While gathering the pianos, local school art departments submitted templates with their design ideas and a request for colors from Anchor Paint, who provided all the paint for the project. Artists concepts include an extraterrestrial experience, a geometric concept, a field of flowers, and more.

“We believe that art and music have the transformative power to unite, encourage, and inspire. Our goal is to provide a fun and impactful way to foster community engagement in both art and music. From the skilled pianist to the child who has never touched a piano key, we believe that all people in our community will enjoy and benefit from playing Play Me, Tulsa! pianos,” said Koch.

The completed Play Me, Tulsa! Pianos are available to be played by the public through the end of summer. Host locations throughout Tulsa include Kendall Whittier Square, Jenks Riverwalk, AHHA, STG Gelateria, North Mabee Tulsa Boys and Girls Club.


For more information about Play Me, Tulsa!, including the final list of pianos, visit www.playmetulsa.com.