Grimstaskolans culture week got off to a flying start when Benny Andersson, who had attended the school, inaugurated and signed the renovated piano and played songs on the instrument in the Assembly Hall.
Culture week is part of the Grimstaskolans participation in Skapande Skola.
“We want students to meet people who have succeeded well in life by developing a talent,” said Assistant Director of the programme Marita Svahn.
The ‘Culture week’ was initiated by Benny Andersson who signed the school’s grand piano.
“I’ve played at least two hours every day for fifty years now”
“What do you want me to play?” Benny asked as he settled at the instrument.
“Waterloo” shouted a student. “Mamma Mia” shouted others. Just then the familiar tones of Mamma Mia were resonating through the Assembly Hall. Everyone tapped their feet and a few dared to sing.
Benny recalled how he crept into the Assembly Hall to play at this particular grand piano, each breaktime and each lunch period. He was mostly ignored by other people.
“But there were a few who seemed to understand what it meant to me to play and that it could be good. Lennart Nilbert who became my class Director was one of them; he was the kind of teacher that I wish everyone could have.”
Benny also spoke of the fact that he wasn’t on course for great grades and that he had to raise his game for the ninth grade. Today we know, however, that it was all the hours at the piano that paved the way for his career.
“Whatever people want to be good at, they need to devote a lot of time to. Practice it enough so you can’t stop. I’ve played at least two hours every day for fifty years now. It wouldn’t be very good if it was not that way. So, practice!”, he urged the students.
When the choir started on an ABBA medley to end the homage to Benny Andersson, he received a commemorative gift; a booklet containing, inter alia, school photos of classmates and three of his own school works from 1962.
“It is wonderful that Benny Andersson came here,” said pupil Elin Slyngstadli afterwards. Another pupile Priya Punj said “We were happy, we never really thought that he would come.”
Elin and Priya are both in Class 5C and are members of the choir who performed the ABBA medley. Neither of them had listened to ABBA before preparation for the culture week started. But they had heard the songs from Mamma Mia!