On the weekend of 25th September, people of varying ages and abilities from London got involved with this year’s Learn to Play Day event.
Organised by the charity Music for All, people across the UK travelled to music stores and community centres, to take advantage of a range of free music lessons. For the first time, those who could not attend in person were able to join in the fun by learning through tutorials on Music for All’s YouTube channel. These featured the likes of the band Skunk Anansie, David Tench the musical director of The Voice UK, Rob Rolfe of Enter Shikari, Vasko Vassilev and Hetty Snell of the Royal Opera House, and more.
Musicroom London and Yamaha Music London, in London, gave people the chance 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 – was 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.
The instruments featured in the online videos include guitar, drums, violin, cello, clarinet, keyboard, ukulele, piano, trombone, bagpipes and beat boxing on a flute! These can be found here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa4rkITZgSkr1kzYiDXkTqQ/videos
A spokesperson from one of the venues said:
“Due to the pandemic, last year’s annual event sadly didn’t take place, so we were delighted to get involved this year and give people a chance to pick up and play an instrument. The music industry is such an incredible community, and we are happy to be so involved in helping it grow across London.”
Tony Followell, Chair of Trustees at Music for All, said:
“Being able to offer free access to music lessons for one weekend meant we could help to encourage people to try a musical instrument for what might have been their first time. There is so much pleasure to be had and proven health, happiness and wellbeing benefits associated with making music. We hope that those who took part continue to learn. Those who weren’t able to join in still can by subscribing to our YouTube channel. Thanks to all venues and people that took part.”
Learn to Play ’21 is generously supported by the NAMM Foundation and partners include Music Industries Association, Musicians Union, Making Music and Music Mark.