On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March, hundreds of residents from London took part in the UK’sannual Learn to Play Day event.
Organised by the charity Music for All, people of all ages visited music venues, schools, and stores across the county, to try their hand at a new skill and take advantage of the free music lessons available.
In London, participating venues included Croydon Music Hub in Croydon, Early Music Shop on Denmark Street, Sax.co.uk / Clarinet & Flute London on Stamford Street, Yamaha Music London on Wardour Street, PMT London in Clerkenwell, Musicroom London on Denmark Street (with special Casio event), The DaCapo Music Foundation on Hilton Avenue, who partnered with leading brandssuch as Fender, Yamaha, Casio, Korg, and Orange Amps, to enable participants to try a variety of musical instruments.
The purpose of the annual Learn to Play Day weekend – supported by Music for All’s patron, Jools Holland OBE, and supported by the Musicians’ Union, the ‘Take It Away’ scheme and Making Music- is to give everyone the opportunity to pick up and play a musical instrument. While some of the attendees had never played before, others hadn’t since childhood so were rediscovering the joys of playing.
In London, hundreds of lessons were given across the weekend with Nigel Hill, General Manager at Yamaha Music London, one of the venues that participated, saying:
“Yamaha Music London took part in Learn to Play in its inaugural year, and since then we have seen the event grow exponentially each year as we have added more teachers and more activities growing the weekend into one of the most popular events in our calendar. This year’s Learn to Play Weekend showcased free lessons across the store for Piano, Keyboard, Synthesizer, Guitar, Violin, Trumpet and even Venova.
“As always, this year’s event shared the joy of playing music across all ages and ability levels and we were rewarded with over 500 visitors joining us and taking part, many choosing to invest in their musical future on the day.”
Nationally, since its inception eight years ago, the Learn to Play Day initiative has now offered close to 100,000 free lessons, with a record 10,000 plus lessons being held at the 2019 event last weekend.
“I think the reason this initiative is so successful across the UK is because no matter our age, background, or lifestyle, music is the one thing that brings everyone together,” said Paul McManus, CEO at Music for All
“There are so many scenarios that we see over the Learn to Play Day weekend: Parents recalling their own schools days and introducing their children to the joys of playing; teenagers who want to start a band; newly retired adults coming to us saying they always wanted to learn an instrument but never had the time; even old rockers now working in the corporate world wanting to return to ‘good old days’ at the weekend by picking up the guitar. No matter what – everyone has a story when it comes to music and our goal is to simply ignite, or re-ignite, that passion and joy that playing an instrument brings.”
Paul concluded: “Events such as Learn to Play Day wouldn’t be the success they are though without the help of our partners and the hundreds of venues, teachers and schools across the country that take part, so a big thank you to everyone. I hope from the public’s perspective that everyone who participated enjoyed their learning experience and continues to follow their passion for years to come.”
To find out more about Music for All and other events throughout the year visitwww.musicforall.org.uk