Central Park Elementary Receives Donated Piano (pub 9/12/16) Skip to main content

Central Park Elementary Receives Donated Piano (pub 9/12/16)

This article appeared in The Santa Clara Weekly Newspaper.

 

Story by Cynthia Cheng and Photo by Peta Roberts

On Wednesday, Aug. 24, the newly opened Central Park Elementary School received the donation of a used piano from Play It Again Santa Clara, as part of an ongoing used instrument drive. The piano, a shiny black Baldwin, will now add musical enrichment to students’ education at the school.

“The music teacher and principal at Central Park Elementary School heard about Play It Again Santa Clara so they contacted me to see if I had a piano,” says Peta Roberts, vice-president of Santa Clara Unified Parents (SCUP) and organizer of Play It Again Santa Clara. “Brian Butler, a piano mover, offered his help [for a discounted fee]. When we delivered the piano, the teacher was in the class with her students. The students were all so sweet. They said ‘thank you’ as we walked out the door.”

Miakje Kamstra, principal of Central Park Elementary School, thanks Roberts for organizing the delivery of the piano.

“We have a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) emphasis here at our school, a curriculum based on interdisciplinary learning and teaching. A lot of folks have that STEM focus and our focus is STEAM, which is adding in the arts,” Kamstra said. “Music is the universal language and we have a couple of teachers who are musicians. We’ve talked about how we really need a piano. We put the new piano in the classroom of one of our teachers, Beth Stauter, a musician who plays the piano. She wrote our school song.”

Beth Hopwood, a parent with the Santa Clara Unified School District, donated the piano to Play It Again Santa Clara. The piano belonged to her late mother, Judy Yarbrough, who passed away two years ago.

“The piano was probably built in the ‘50s or ‘60s,” Hopwood said. “My mom taught violin and she would use the piano to help students be able to play on key and to understand the different notes. As her students got better, she would sometimes accompany students’ violin music on the piano. My mom was a musical person and was in the Mission Chamber Orchestra and the West Valley Chamber Orchestra. My mom was a Montessori school teacher and my dad taught at Santa Clara University. I don’t play the piano and neither of my kids play the piano. I’m really happy that the piano will be helping kids with musical education. That would make my mom really happy.”

Donations of musical instruments to SCUP’s Play It Again Santa Clara are tax-deductible. To arrange for a donation, contact Roberts at santaclarapeta@gmail.com or call (408) 394-7989.