PIANOS ON CAMPUS

A list of pianos found on the main campus of the University of Sydney, sorted in order of usability

USU Common Room

7

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Moderate

Upright

Good

Kawai

Found in the Holme building on level 4 (confusingly one level above ground), it has a decent sound. This is where we (PianoSoc) hold our meetings, and it's often used by other performing arts societies for meetings or rehearsals. It's a spacious room.

Seymour Centre

7

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Moderate

Upright

Very good

Kawai

There are around 4 piano practice rooms on level 5 of the Seymour Centre. They are all new pianos, digitally outfitted as of 2020 (they are acoustic, but sound can be set to output to headphones only). These are usually only available to Conservatorium students or those undertaking music-related activities, but after 5pm, they are open to all students. Enter via the stage door and access level 5 via the stairs or elevator.

Barnard Eldershaw Room

6

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Low

Upright

Poor

Kawai Linden

This room is next to Manning Bar, and is quite popular. It is played frequently and appears to receive no maintenance whatsoever, so the sound quality is very poor. You can also often find people having a nap, studying or hosting events in this room, so it's difficult to get most of the time.

International Student Lounge

6

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Low

Upright

Poor

Kawai

This piano used to be in the main area of the International Student Lounge (ISL) in the Wentworth Building on level 4, but has been relegated to a side room next to the bathrooms, which is also frequently used to store a large number of chairs, so there is often very little room. If the room is locked, ask the ISL office on the same level, and they'll unlock it for you. This piano has a poor sound, but is centrally located.

Education Building #2

6

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Moderate

Upright

Good

Yamaha

This piano is located in room 633 of level 6. The piano was very new a few years ago but has not received much maintenance at all. Ensure that when you play, there are no lectures or classes happening nearby, as the walls are quite thin. Maintenance also discourage using this piano.

Elliott Miller Studio

6

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Moderate

Upright

Good

Kawai

Located on the ground floor (level 3) of Holme Building, this piano is quite decent, being used by dance societies regularly for rehearsals. The studio is not always accessible, and is very slightly worse than the one upstairs.

Education Building #1

5

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Low

Upright

Good

Symphony Royal

This piano is located in the Common Room of the Faculty of Education & Social Work, room 401 of level 4. The room is mainly for research students' use.

Holme Building, near Refectory

5

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Low

Grand

Very good

Yamaha

The room next to the Holme Refectory contains one of the best pianos on campus. It appears to receive regular maintenance and tuning, and has an excellent sound. However, this piano is owned by HostCo, the university's catering company, and is often surrounded by students and staff eating, studying or socialising. To play on this: 1. Play ONLY when there are no events nearby (important!!) 2. Play on it infrequently, and 3. Play only performance-ready pieces.

Old Teachers' College #2

4

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Moderate

Upright

Poor

Symphony Royal

In room 420 (the drama room) of the old teachers' college on level 4, sits another sad piano with several broken keys. It is of low quality, and the drama room is occasionally locked.

Old Teachers' College #1

4

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Moderate

Grand

Poor

C. Bechstein

In the assembly hall (room 300) of the old teachers' college on level 3, in a small platform to the side of the stage, there sits an old and broken piano. The ivory plating on many of the keys is missing (making the edges of the keys dangerously sharp), some keys need to be lifted up in order to be pressed, and the keyboard has browned with age and neglect. The upper octaves are almost unplayable, having sadly not seen maintenance in a long time. The hall is sometimes locked.

Quadrangle Lobby F

3

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Very low

Concert grand

Very good

Steinway & Sons

This piano is rarely played at all, due to the notice firmly taped on the piano cover which reads "NO PLAYING", probably by some staff who prefer a quiet working environment. The piano was acquired with funds bequeathed to the university in 1953. You may have some luck trying to play after hours, but before security locks the gate to the lobby!

Bligh Building

3

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Low

Grand

Very good

Yamaha

On the ground level of the Bligh building in the Sydney University Village sits a very good Yamaha. Playing is not allowed between 9am-5pm on weekdays due to the noise policy.

Old Darlington School #2

2

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Very low

Grand

Very good

Steinway & Sons

In seminar room 101 of the Old Darlington School (ODS), there is an old but very good Steinway. Access to ODS is very restricted, and requires a booking through the Conservatorium. ODS is usually only reserved for Conservatorium students.

Old Darlington School #1

2

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Very low

Upright

Poor

Laffargue

In seminar room 101 of the Old Darlington School (ODS), there's a piano that is quite mediocre. Access to ODS is very restricted, and requires a booking through the Conservatorium. ODS is usually only reserved for Conservatorium students.

Great Hall #2

1

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Very low

Concert grand

Very good

Steinway & Sons

Normally locked, the Great Hall is only publicly accessible during special events. This is another one of the few very good pianos on campus.

Great Hall #1

1

/10

Availability

Type

Condition

Brand

Very low

Concert grand

Very good

Steinway & Sons

Normally locked, the Great Hall is only publicly accessible during special events. This is another one of the few very good pianos on campus.

If you would like to add a piano to this list, please send an email to usydpianosoc@gmail.com

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