Grand PianoI’ve always seen toys as something to be imagined, not just played with.
When I was a child, I liked to build toys from scratch. I was fascinated with toy cars, construction toys and anything with a mechanical element to it. For me, the joy was in the endless possibilities of creating.
Meet the Maestro – Donny Chen
Growing up in China, LEGO® bricks weren’t easy to get hold of.
I was 25 years old when I bought my first set 8 years ago, and it hasn’t stopped surprising me since. Although I was a latecomer to LEGO toys, I’ve since fallen in love with the bricks and it’s now my biggest hobby by far, aside from music. In fact, I’ve even created a model of my own home, including five pianos.
This build brought together my two greatest passions in life.
When I’m not building with LEGO bricks, I’m teaching, tuning or writing music on my piano. So, when I first discovered LEGO Ideas, I knew I wanted to build something that could make the musical and LEGO worlds come together.
I’m as interested in how a piano works as the music it makes.
I’ve always been fascinated with the mechanics of how things work and the engineering behind great pianos. As a teacher, I also have to explain what goes on beneath the lid to my students. This model seemed like a great way to show them on a smaller scale.
I worked every day for six weeks to make the model as accurate as possible.
It was really important to me that it felt real, that it worked and looked as close to a life-sized piano as possible. It took at least 15 hours to achieve that authenticity and make sure the keyboard, bench, damper, pedals and piano player function all worked like the real thing.
Not everything went 100% according to plan.
There were a few hiccups during the design process, particularly with the fall board (the lid that covers the keys). I must have changed the design four times until I got it right. In the end, I was happy that it closed, felt and worked exactly like a working piano. But of course, making the LEGO® Grand Piano playable was my main focus when I designed it, and at the same time, the most challenging part of the build.
I think that my piano set is a unique LEGO® creation, which will be loved by people of all ages, especially music lovers around the world. I really hope you like it as much as I do.