How to Engage Creatively with the Sing for Hope Pianos: A Guide for Young New Yorkers (& their Parents)
May 23, 2018

Sing for Hope places artist-designed pianos throughout the public spaces of NYC’s 5 boroughs each summer for anyone and everyone to play–including our youngest New Yorkers! Check out these ideas for how to help your children/students use the SFH Pianos to foster creativity.

Choose Creativity and join us for a free interactive workshop!
Tuesday, June 19th, 4:30 pm

Sing for Hope is honored to partner with the Lulu & Leo Fund to use the 10 Principles of Creativity, each of which supports resilience and success, to foster creativity in the lives of young people. Children of all ages are invited to join the Sing for Hope Youth Corps at the Sing for Hope Piano at Grand Army Plaza to use their own stories as inspiration to design and color their own SFH Pianos. We will also sing together to some of our favorite kid-friendly songs, enjoy live accompaniment on the Sing for Hope Piano, and learn a fun choreographed dance to “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

Learn to play a song

You can help your child or student learn some piano (or learn some yourself!), whether you’ve taken a piano lesson before or not. With the help of our Sing for Hope Pianos Music Book, found at every piano, use the keyboard visual and accompanying music to learn how to play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!

To bring the song to life and make your child’s new knowledge even more rewarding, take turns playing Twinkle Twinkle, one of you singing along and one of you playing the notes!


Have a keyboard or piano? Kids don’t need to take piano lessons in order to improvise! Ask them if they can make up a 30-second song that sounds sad, and a song that sounds happy. To get started, play a few different sounds with them and ask them to describe the difference! Can they play low notes? Can they play the high notes? Can they play two notes at the same time? Which ones sound happier?

TIP:  Tell them the name for what they’re doing! They’re not just playing around, they’re improvising, which is something professional artists do, especially in jazz.

Perform on an unconventional stage

Invite your child’s school class, choir, or other musical group to schedule a rehearsal or “encore” performance at a Sing for Hope Piano! Sign up for an official pop-up performance on the SFH Pianos App.

Go on a Sing for Hope Pianos scavenger hunt

Museums are great, but there’s something about noticing the art in the child’s own environment that is extra inspiring. Use this map of the 50 Sing for Hope Piano locations, or download the SFH Pianos App on your Android or iPhone! See how many pianos you can spot. (BONUS: you’ll get exercise in the process!)

TIP: Make it interactive, not passive. Talk about public art as you go: what colors do you see? Is anyone playing the piano? What does it add to that public place? Bring paper & pencil with you so your kids can draw what they see, respond to the art, or create their own version.

…. And then, CREATE public art

Ask your child to consider: what is public art? Can a sandcastle be public art? Is sidewalk chalk public art? What public art can your child create? Find a “public” place in your child’s life (e.g. your front door, the sidewalk in front of your home, or a path in the park) that could use a little color!

TIP: Come up with an intention for the piece (e.g. welcoming kids home from school, and parents home from work) and a medium (e.g. sidewalk chalk), and then get to work!

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