Monday, November 26, 2012

The BYU Terrace piano

One thing that has always perplexed me is the piano in the Terrace of the Wilkinson Center.  Well, not really the piano, but the people who play on it.  If you are not familiar with BYU, the Terrace is a big room which they use as the overflow near the Cougareat.  At lunch time, it's filled with students munching away at their Subway sandwiches, or crunching into some Taco Bell concoction.  Everyone is sitting in groups around the tables.  Everyone except that one guy sitting in the corner at the piano.   He probably looks something like this.
(I snapped this little photo today in later hours, hence the empty chairs.)
While everyone is busy socializing and eating, the piano guy will pound away at those ivory keys.  The skill level and pieces range on all degrees, but you can almost always count that it's very average. 

I don't really get annoyed with the playing.  It's not like he's trying to be obnoxious, but I just can't grasp WHY he insists on playing at that particular piano.  Out of all the pianos on campus (there is a piano in almost every classroom in every building because we have church meetings on campus) he decides to play in the Terrace while making hundreds of students listen to him "practice."  Believe me, I like attention every once in awhile, but this is not the attention I would ever seek out.

So maybe he just wants to practice.  Every once in awhile the player is actually reading music, and it does seem like he's practicing.  But not really.  Practicing requires stopping, and replaying difficult sections.  Practicing is not very entertaining to listen to, and it's pretty obvious that person is there to perform.

Well, maybe he just wants to mess around on the piano.  Because people like to "play around" in front of hundreds of students.

I have all these theories, but they just don't cut it for me.  The only one I can really consider is the guy wants to impress the ladies.  Notice how I've marked these unknown piano players as men (ha, players), because it's almost always a GUY playing the piano.  I have rarely seen a female serenading the crowd.  Well, I'm sorry men, but I'm not impressed.

I just don't get it.  I wish I knew what is going through their heads while they play.  This I will never know, but this is my guess.

"I feel like playing this song because it makes me happy.  Also I want to impress the ladies."

"I'm going to practice this song and watch the students' reactions to gauge my playing ability.  I also want to impress the ladies.

"I'm going to play on this piano because all the other hundreds of pianos are taken.  I also want a date this weekend.

"I love all this attention."

"Everyone is probably really impressed right now.  I'm probably going to get a bunch of girls' numbers."

Alas, I'll probably never know.  I'll just take creepy pictures of them and share my confusion with the internet.

Oh, and at one point in my dance dare video I pranced behind an unaware piano guy.  It's around the 40 second mark.

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