Can music encourage subway commuters to take the Piano Stairway instead of the escalator? Just when you thought you had seen it all, here comes the latest twist of the Fun Theory. This Volkswagon-sponsored experiment employs the “Fun Theory” to influence environmentally friendly, health-conscious consumer behavior. And what can be more fun than a keyboard stairway that plays the notes of the scale as you race to catch the train! Compose with your feet as you roam up or down (or sideways on the chromatic black keys), and keep the pounds off too with the daily exercise of your musical commute. Well, enough said. . .we all need a little more music and lots more exercise in our lives.
See and hear for yourself the Piano Keyboard Stairway in the Stockholm subway. Then you’ll understand why most folks opt for the sounds of their own “foot” music in the metro, and forget the “ho-hum” tunelessness of the escalator!
Teaching Tip: Challenge your students to come up with their own “Fun Theory” ideas for injecting fun into worthwhile endeavors. This could be a good cross-curricular project for the music and science teacher. Discuss the pros and cons of how music is used now in public spaces (such as that dreaded omnipresent Muzac). How can spontaneous or planned public music events or tools be used to inspire or uplift us in a noise-filled world? How can music make us really listen and not just deaden the noises of the environment? Post your students’ ideas on this blog, so we can share them with others.
Check out these other upbeat musical surprises in public places:
The Sound of Music in the Antwerp, Belgium train station. During rush hour, this planned musical event caught commuters by surprise, but they soon joined in singing and dancing “Do, a deer, a female deer, re, a drop of golden sun. . .”
Crazy Subway Music. This spontaneous outbreak of music had busy commuters raising their eyebrows and looking askance, until the infectious rhythms had them all joining in. Music is the tie that binds. . .even among normally indifferent and distracted commuters.