Man Plays Unique Rendition Of 'Amazing Grace' On Public Piano
Joshua Patton 11/26/2018
A lot of the best art and performances are meticulously planned and practiced, but sometimes it can happen spontaneously making it somehow all the more special.
It's not uncommon to find a seemingly abandoned piano in some public spaces. Only it's not abandoned. It's a public piano, ready and waiting for anyone who wants to come by and tickle the ivories.
There are two types of people who play these instruments. The first are the curious. They may have had some piano lessons or know a tune. They may not even sit, but will plink out a little tune on the keys. The second type of public piano player? A person who can play and is eager for an audience.
Terry Miles, seen in the green jacket, is definitely one of the second group.
This particular piano is in a London station, where people are always in a hurry. It's not the sort of place you linger. Yet, add a piano to that space and, more importantly, a piano player and that dynamic changes.
Terry is a no amateur, you see. He's a musician and a piano teacher who uses video lessons on DVD or YouTube to instruct students all over the globe. His particular method is a kind of jazz piano known as "boogie woogie." A style dating back to the 1870s and popularized in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance.
It's a very specific style, that's so upbeat and delightful you can't help but dance along. On this day, Terry sat down at the piano and began to show off his boogie woogie skills.
Terry sits at the piano and starts to play a slowed tempo boogie-woogie style overture. He adds flourishes throughout, holding a note or sending his fingers dancing between a pair of keys. With all this style it can take a moment to place the song, but eventually you realize it's "Amazing Grace."
After about two minutes, Terry really ups the Boogie Woogie stylings still playing the iconic, recognizable melody. However, like all good jazz, Terry layers notes upon notes taking what is commonly thought of as a dirge and making it a celebration.
A crowd forms around the piano almost immediately, with a man armed with a selfie-stick filming almost the entire performance. But when Terry kicks back the stool and really shows off, at least a dozen people have gathered around to watch the show.
By the time Terry slows things back down again and takes his seat, he has an genuine audience. One person even spontaneously starts clapping before the song is even finished. When he hits the last note, he gets a round of applause and handshakes from onlookers.
In bygone days, this would have been a private moment shared just between Terry and the commuters, but thanks to his YouTube channel we can all enjoy it.