A music school in Montreal is trying to raise cash to restore a Steinway piano dating from 1925 that has been played by some of the world's great piano players.

The school, which gives music lessons to low-income children, estimates it needs $50,000 to repair the Steinway, once played by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Glenn Gould.

It has a 12-hour pianothon fundraiser planned for Saturday, Dec. 22 at Montreal’s Place des Arts.

Guillaume Martineau, a Montreal pianist with an international reputation came up with the pianothon idea. He will play half the day in an attempt to raise money to restore the piano.

 "This piano is now out of use and really needs a lot of repairs," he told CBC News.  

"If the piano finds again its potential, it will make the hall a very special hall in Montreal."  

Long ago, the school's auditorium actually housed Montreal's Symphony Orchestra, so many famous fingers have rested on the keys.

École Le Plateau teacher Véronique Marquis says the school considered replacing the Steinway with an inexpensive instrument, but felt it had a duty to save the antique piano. 

Marquis says it’s worth the investment because it introduces students to an instrument with a rich sound and saves a piece of history.

Piano repairman André Bolduc examined the Steinway and said, with proper funding, it should be easy to restore the instrument.

"Steinway still has the design and all the information on all these old instruments, so I will be able to have the scale, the thickness of the board, and [the] information I need to rebuild it exactly as it was in 1925," Bolduc said.

Student Lucas Dacosta-Perlatti says a classical piano would be a nice break from the electric keyboards he and his classmates currently use.

The pianothon could be the first of many fundraisers the school holds in an effort to restore the historic piano.