American University hopes piano sale will help fund its music program

American University is hoping a piano sale is the key to funding its music program.

On Monday, crews filled the rotunda of American University's Katzen Arts Center with the sound of music.

"Having an extraordinary instrument is such an important part of a student's learning experience and for us to have access to the best quality pianos and then still keeping resources to support students, rather than buying the piano is invaluable," said Andrew Taylor, chair of the Department of Performing Arts at American University.

The department is in its second year working with the nonprofit Rockley Family Foundation.

With the help of volunteers, like Darren Speir, Rockley provides top-of-the-line instruments and scholarships to school music programs all around the country.

"Universities would get not only good practice pianos but also concert grade instruments for free, and to perpetuate that, every year, they would have a fundraiser, like we have here, to raise the funds to start it all over and keep it going," said Speir.

There's a huge range of pianos for sale, everything from practice uprights, starting at a couple of thousand dollars, to the big boy concert pianos.

"To have 50 to 100 pianos, and you can play the least expensive all the way up to the Bosendorfer, it's pretty impressive and it's an extraordinary experience for anybody who plays," said Taylor.

It's an extraordinary opportunity for local students to reach their full artistic potential, with money from each gently-used instrument sold going directly toward supporting the foundation's musical mission.

The pianos will be on sale from March 14 - March 16 at the Katzen Arts Center located at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. (Thursday and Friday by appointment only - Saturday open to the public from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. - to make an appointment or get more information call 202-885-2900.)

For more information on the Rockley Family Foundation, click here.