Legend Denis Law back in class as piano gift hits right note with Aberdeen pupils

Two pupils at the school with the piano
Two pupils at the school with the piano

An Aberdeen school has been gifted a prize piano – built to honour an football legend.

Students at Orchard Brae are already enjoying the unique instrument, which was made to commemorate Denis Law being given the freedom of the city in 2017.

The instrument was kitted out by Gordon Bell Pianos on Rosemount Viaduct, which wrapped the piano in a vinyl layer, detailing the former Scotland player’s career.

Aberdeen piano tuner makes special instrument to celebrate football legend Denis Law

Karen Gebbie-Smith, head of primary at the school, said the pupils had already been trying out the instrument. She said: “The shop told us a little about the piano and asked if it was something we would be willing to take.

“I think it was important for the shop to make sure the piano went somewhere it would be played by people who might not get the chance to otherwise.”

Orchard Brae is a school for children with a range of additional support needs and Karen hopes the piano will benefit their development.

She said: “We used to have little keyboards and it’s just not the same as having this massive piece of equipment.

“The children will be able to play it really quietly or really loudly.

“For some of our children, vibrations are really important.

“So they can put their faces or hands on it and get that real sensory cue.”

Karen was also keen to make sure that something built for a legend of the city stays in Aberdeen.

She said: “It was made for a reason and that was all about Aberdeen.”

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The piano has pride of place in the school music room.

Karen said: “It’s so vibrant, it’s covered in logos, it’s got lights all over it, so the piano itself is engaging to look at.”

Denis Law

The school has a growing music department that can now use the instrument in its work, which includes regular therapy sessions.

She said: “We have a very enthusiastic staff and so the piano will be available to play at all hours of the day.

“We’ll also be able to use it in the different assemblies we have and the different types of performers who come to visit. It won’t just be the children that get use out of it.”

After a trip around the stadiums where the former Man United star Denis played, the piano was auctioned, with the 10 people who united to buy it agreeing to give it to a worthy cause.

Shop owner Gordon Bell said Orchard Brae was the “perfect home” for it.