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Our Pianos

Would you like to play our pianos?

At present, the playing of our pianos is restricted to reduce any risk of infection.

Pianos may ONLY be played if it is safe to do so. Rules are frequently updated and must be checked.

Currently: Staff may play, so long as they abide by the rules below. Patients may play, so long as they discuss with staff first and abide by the rules below.

We love people to share the gift of music, but we must all be aware of infection risks.


All pianists must follow the rules: Hands - Face - Space 

Hands:     Wash hands before and after playing the piano

Face:        Wear a mask, and do not touch face

Space:      Ensure listeners maintain a two meter distance


Credit: The Piano Shop Bath 

#ArtsUHBW Pianos

Thanks to kind donations by The Piano Shop Bath in 2019, there is now a piano in each hospital building in Bristol and Weston, and in the education centre.  

The Piano Shop Bath has also supplied instruments to support artist Luke Jerram’s global public art project ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ which our hospital piano programme has been inspired by. (You can find out more about Luke’s work later this month)

In 2020 the Piano Shop Bath led a visual arts project to decorate a piano and auction it. The proceeds were donated to Above and Beyond to support more music making as part of the Arts and Culture Programme at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston. A portion of this generous donation has funded the costs of creating this Audio Advent calendar.


Jon Kelly, owner of the Piano Shop Bath invited British Artist Annie Sloan and textile artist Charlotte MacMillan to decorate the Broadwood Upright piano and upholster a specially designed stool.  You can see how this stunning piano has been beautifully upcycled by these two gifted artists.

Annie Sloan, who is well known for her range of paints, said the project was:

“one of the most joyful painting experiences of recent years, I was given free reign to be truly experimental and many of you know, I truly believe in the therapeutic value in the arts - painting, music, and creative pursuits bring calm, strength and much needed relief during times of great struggle”.

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Credit: The Piano Shop Bath 

Find out more about these incredibly talented and generous artists: 

Does having pianos in hospital make a difference?

Please note, images and videos were recorded before restrictions were imposed.


Here's 93 year old David Hall making the most of the piano based in the Bristol Heart Institute. Whilst attending the stroke clinic in A515, David mentioned to his consultant Clare that he used to play the organ professionally. A quick walk down the corridor later, and this is the result.

Driver Izzi, who has been seconded to the ambulance service from Bakers Dolphin Travel, treated the patients and staff to this beautiful piece of music during her break. 

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Nyla playing piano, photo credit: UHBW of patient with permission

13 year old Nyla is a frequent visitor to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children due to her long term condition. Her tuneful playing has brought a relaxing atmosphere to our reception area and she says it is a great way to fill some of her time in between appointments and her stays on Ward Apollo 35. 


Staff said 'It was music to our ears' hearing Nyla's piano playing in main reception.


Patient Ros Oswald recently emailed to say...


"I was at the BRI on Friday for a CT scan and found your wonderful piano on the ground floor. You asked for feedback so here it is...To say I was worried is an understatement. I have been a pianist since the age of 7 and I am now in my 60s. Just seeing the piano made me feel more relaxed immediately. I had my scan and asked the staff if it was ok to play in view of the social distancing. 


Once my scan was done I went back and found the music in the stool which is such a good idea. I didn’t realise it was there so had been planning to play some songs I know well. I normally play for a toddler group, in church and for a nursing home when I am not having to socially distance but all that has had to stop. The standard of the music was great because I could just sight read my way through it. I knew most of the pieces although I hadn’t necessarily played them before. I decided to stick to the music in the stool so as not to risk playing anything I didn’t realise was inappropriate….One person said she was pleased I was going to play and two people hummed the tunes as they walked past. I really can’t thank you enough for turning a not very pleasant experience into a happy memory." 


Ros also plays historical instruments and does historical re-enactments and has made this video to remind everyone to wash their hands - in Regency style!

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