College of Music, West Michigan Piano partner in supplying pianos to students

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To COVID-19 After the doors of Michigan State closed, many College of Music students had to search for the instruments they needed to practice at home rather than at school.

While many students were able to find the instruments they needed, some were less fortunate, especially piano students who couldn’t go to school to practice.

To solve this problem, the MSU’s College of Music has teamed up with the Grand Rapids-based company West Michigan piano Delivering digital pianos to students without instruments.

“So there are quite a few students at the College of Music, many of them international students or who made East Lansing their home,” said the college’s chief piano technician, Mary Lapprand. “When the bylaws went into effect on March 24th, many students were stuck with access to instruments because the College of Music closed its doors.”

According to Gov. Gretchen Whitmers “Stay home, stay safe” order was established, College of Music Dean James Forger contacted Lapprand to see how these students could be helped.

“We had the idea of ​​making digital pianos available to students,” said Lapprand. “So, our Steinway dealer, they work in Grand Rapids, Michigan and West Michigan Piano – they regularly lend us pianos – I asked them if they could help us borrow some digital pianos to different students and they said, ‘We would we are happy. ‘ So they lent the students the pianos at no cost to them or the College of Music. ”

Eight students were given pianos to practice West Michigan piano to finish the remainder of the semester.

“They’re digital pianos, so they have a weighted keyboard that makes them feel like a real acoustic keyboard,” said Lapprand. “But they also have synthesized sound so students can use headsets with them, which is really great. So when they’re in an apartment building with close neighbors, it works really well.”

The College of Music has a long history with West Michigan Piano and has received pianos from the company for more than 10 years. When Lapprand turned to helping students during the pandemic, they didn’t hesitate.

“We like to do it. We’re big supporters of the university and the music department. It’s a top-notch school,” said West Michigan Piano owner Ken Wierenga. “It’s an honor to be linked.”

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