Piano Use Policy


The policy below applies to the use of pianos in the College of Music.

Purpose of the Policy

A high-quality concert grand piano is expensive and relatively fragile. Limiting its availability to public performances and equivalent use is intended to preserve the piano’s readiness for performance. This will benefit all performers and performances.

General Rules

  • Both Cook Recital Hall pianos and the locked piano in Fairchild Theatre will be locked at all times when not in use, and all pianos in Cook and Fairchild will be covered after each use.
  • Both Cook Recital Hall pianos will be covered while being moved on and off stage.
  • When not using a piano cover, neatly fold it and set it on a chair. Never put it on the floor.
  • Students and faculty will not give or lend keys for the locked pianos to others.
  • No food or drink is allowed in Cook Recital Hall or in Fairchild Theatre.
  • Situations not covered explicitly by these rules will be interpreted by staff based on the guidelines set forth in this policy.
  • Students violating these rules will lose the privilege of using these pianos.
  • These rules are posted in large print backstage in Cook Recital Hall and Fairchild Theatre.

Piano Handling in Cook Recital Hall

  • An instructional video detailing the proper handling and storage of pianos in Cook Recital Hall.

"Prepared Piano" Rules

  • A prepared piano is defined as any activity involving affixing labels, markings, or inserting foreign objects into the piano or manipulating the strings other than through the keyboard.
  • Before a College of Music piano may be used for prepared piano purposes, approval and instructions must be obtained from the Piano Technology staff at pianotech@music.msu.edu or call 517-432-1582.
  • A prepared piano may be used for rehearsal or public performances. 
  • Following the rehearsal or performance, all labels, markings, and other objects as approved by the Piano Technology staff will be completely and promptly removed, leaving no permanent traces on the piano.

Fortepiano Room

  • Students must contact Mary Luisi (luisimar@music.msu.edu or (517) 432-1582) before their first practice session in order to meet with her to learn about proper fortepiano care.
  • Use of the fortepiano is restricted to within the Music Building and Music Practice Building (no performances at Fairchild Theatre or any other building on or off campus). Any performer using the fortepiano must have prior approval by the Piano Area
  • Students wishing to practice on the fortepiano must sign up on the sheet next to the door of the piano shop (97 MB) one week in advance, and must include the approval of a faculty member.
  • Students are limited to one hour per day of practice time
  • Keys for the fortepiano room can be obtained from the student’s main professor.
  • Food and drinks are NOT permitted in the fortepiano room. 
  • Do not place any personal items on the music desk or lid. Take all your belongings with you when finished in the room.