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November 4, 2009 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Where in Portland, OR might I go to practice piano...for free/cheap??

I am a pianist without a piano. I have a decent keyboard, but it's just not the same at all. I'd really like to find somewhere I could practice just a couple times a week on a real piano. Preferably, I'd like to do this for free; though I might be able to scrounge up some pocket change.

I've had access to a piano my entire life (home, college), but now that I have graduated college I find myself piano-less - and I'm poverty poor so I can't afford to buy one; nor do I want to acquire a free one on Craigslist, as most would require a lot of maintenance - and besides, I don't really have anywhere to put a piano at the moment anyway.

Any suggestions? Do universities/community colleges ever offer some sort of "practice room membership" thing? Do you know of any rehearsal spaces with good pianos that aren't too spendy??

Thanks in advance everyone!!
posted by Lutoslawski to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Most music schools are like ghost towns on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Maybe you could go to University of Oregon at one of those times and scout for a practice room. Usually, if there are practice room schedules, they will be posted somewhere. Good luck!
posted by nosila at 1:55 PM on November 4, 2009

Best answer: There are probably some retirement homes or assisted living communities that would *love* to have someone come play for them for free. Depending on whether your practicing was more musical or more doodling on the piano, this is an option that could be win-win for you and for a bunch of bored folks who'd appreciate a bit of stray beauty.
posted by amtho at 2:08 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

I couldn't find any information online, but there might be one available at one of the public libraries. It's worth calling to find out. (If you google it, be sure you're not looking at Portland, ME as their library has one.)
posted by anthropoid at 2:28 PM on November 4, 2009

Best answer: Try the Community Music Center on SE Francis.
posted by ottereroticist at 2:48 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is an open-access piano in the open-access Student Union at Reed College. Not that I advise trespassing, of course.
posted by opossumnus at 3:57 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

There are practice rooms in the basement of Lincoln Hall at PSU and, as of a decade ago when I was a student there, there are no student ID checks.
posted by chrchr at 4:26 PM on November 4, 2009

Oops...by Oregon State University I meant PSU of course, and when I was in that building 5 years ago, the practice rooms were open and there were no ID checks. Seems only fair that you give us the next 5-year report.
posted by nosila at 4:35 PM on November 4, 2009

Best answer: Why not give some really small local colleges/universities a call? My fellow trumpet-playing friends and I did that a few times while on spring/winter breaks. During the summers, it seemed like there was always some administrator who was absolutely tickled to have a little noise in the building. I emphasize small because some of the really tiny schools are very ambitious in their practice room/music student ratio.

The best spring break of my life, some fellow brass geeks and I went to Pensacola, FL, and, tiring of the beach after the first day, we sought out some practice space. We ended up at one of the smaller localish state universities. They asked us to sit in with their pretty hot little jazz combo twice. By the end of the week, they'd (informally) offered us scholarships to study there.
posted by The Potate at 9:39 PM on November 4, 2009

Churches have pianos. Some have staff around all day. Talk to someone in charge, see if you can set something up.
posted by AltReality at 10:50 PM on November 4, 2009

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