Piano Day 29 March 2021

Did you know that March 29 is World Piano day?

Piano Day is celebrated on the 88th day of each year, exactly the number of keys on the piano!

The John Oxley Library is joining the celebrations by looking at the role the piano has played in shaping people’s lives. In the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries before radio a piano in the home was a popular form of entertainment with families gathering around to sing and make merry.

Linning and Allison Quartet practising around the piano, Baroona, 1913, negative number 90902, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Three women in a Rocklea war workers' house, Brisbane, 1944, image number 79518, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Olive Victoria Filsell Sedgley, plays the piano at her home in Taringa, Brisbane, while her sister Lydia Goodliff Filsell Sandercock watches, 1916. Negative number 94180, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

These images have been taken from the Flickr album Piano in the home

The piano continues to play a role in family life. The joy of sitting at the piano as a child is captured in this 2019 image from the Meet Me at the Paragon exhibition.

Constandina, great- granddaughter of Constantina Samios, owner of Paragon Cafe, Dalby, 2019, Image number 32232-0001-0001, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Women were often central to playing the piano in the home with girls encouraged to play piano from a young age. Clare Hansson, Queensland’s first lady of Jazz, lifelong love of music began at age 2 on her Grandmothers piano. Hansson began formal lessons at 5 going on to become a professional pianist and the first person to attend the Master of Fine Arts majoring in Jazz Studies at the Queensland University of Technology.

Ivy May Hassard with fellow piano students at City Hall, Brisbane, 1932, Image number 28860-0017-0001, John Oxley Library State Library of Queensland.

Another famous Queensland woman who took piano lessons was Ivy May Hassard shown here with fellow students in the Brisbane City Hall from 1932. Ivy went on to become a famous Aviatrix and fashion designer on the Gold Coast. More about Ivy’s life can be found via downloading the Ivy May Hassard episode of State Library's podcast, Dangerous Women

Feeling inspired to play the piano this Piano Day?

The State Library of Queensland has digitised Piano and Music scores available through our One Search catalogue. If you're not sure where to start but are interested in trying a new piece of music browse the curated Piano & Music Scores Flickr album.

A selection of illustrated covers of music scores from the John Oxley Library collection. 


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Thank you for your valuable details
I also love playing piano
I am from Sri Lanka , Sasindu Goyum , 11 years old student.

Thank you Sasindu! It's exciting to see someone all the way from Sri Lanka reading our blog. We're glad to hear you love piano too. What is your favourite kind of music to play?

Thrilled to see this featured on the John Oxley Library blog. My childhood music teacher was the renowed Nora Baird, a feisty Irish immigrant who expected the very best from her privilaged pupils. Her personal papers and a collection of awards and certificates are held in the John Oxley Library. Another amazing fact...Nora was my mothers teacher as well and Mum went on to teach the piano full time for more than 30 years having attained her 3 diplomas. Talk about tradition...