With many elderly and vulnerable Australians remaining inside their homes during the COVID-19 outbreak, a musician from The University of Western Australia has helped provide musical entertainment for the residents of a Perth aged-care facility.
Paul Tunzi, a Master Piano Technician from UWA’s Conservatorium of Music mounted one of the University’s pianos to the top of a car trailer before taking a trip to an aged-care residence in Gwelup and setting up a mobile performance venue.
“The Conservatorium of Music was gifted a very old and worn out Steinway concert grand piano and we were left with the question of how we could use the piano to benefit the community,” Mr Tunzi said.
“Due to the old age of the instrument, it was unsuitable for stage performances and was the perfect candidate for this kind of initiative, as it didn’t matter if the piano was scratched or exposed to outdoor weather.
“After we parked the piano trailer on the street, residents were invited to take a seat in the adjacent park or listen from the comfort of their balconies, as various musicians and young students played a repertoire of their choice.”
Head of UWA’s Conservatorium of Music Professor Alan Lourens said music had a unique ability to bring communities together in times of uncertainty and crisis.
“At a time when we are all separated, music represents a great way to help people connect with each other and express the inexpressible, which allows us to fundamentally understand the environment we are living in,” Professor Lourens said.
“Despite the majority of us staying inside our homes, we need to make sure we are listening to music and engaging with music, as it will help make the world a better place.
The Steinway piano is offered to the community for use in various situations and previously spent time at The Ellington Jazz Club.
Mr Tunzi hopes the initiative will inspire future events that involve UWA instruments and music students performing off campus to enrich and benefit local communities.
“Congregating together to listen to a concert in a traditional venue is a great idea, but there are always going to be people in the community that cannot attend, which is why these types of initiatives are so important,” Mr Tunzi said.