Learn to play a musical instrument this year with free lessons in Manchester


If your New Year’s resolution is to learn a musical instrument, you’re in luck. A free national event to encourage everyone in the UK to start making music is coming to Greater Manchester this March.

Supported by Jools Holland OBE, and run by charity Music for All, the 2020 Learn to Play Day will take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March, and will see music shops, teachers, venues and schools throughout the county partner with leading musical instrument brands to offer thousands of free music lessons.

Participating Manchester venues so far include The Met in Bury, Forsyth Music Shop on Deansgate, and PMT Manchester on Regent Road.

Photo: Rachel Burt Photography

Now in its 162nd year of continuous trading, Forsyth is Manchester’s oldest independent business and the largest general music shop in the UK.

The store has supported the annual Learn to Play Day since its inception in 2012, and last year gave away 200 free lessons on piano, voice, and all the major woodwind, brass and string instruments, including harp.

Since being launched nine years ago, the Learn to Play Day initiative has helped thousands of people pick up and play a musical instrument. Many had never played before, while others played as a child but gave up.

Photo: Rachel Burt Photography

“As Patron of the Music for All charity, I’m delighted to lend my support to National Learn to Play Day on March 28th and 29th,” said Jools Holland.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to share the joy of music, and this special day allows thousands to get involved as venues all over the country offer music lessons for free.”

Held in partnership with the Musicians’ Union, the Take It Away scheme (an Arts Council England initiative which aims to get more children and young people playing music by providing interest free loans for the purchase of musical instruments) and Making Music (a UK organisation for amateur music with over 3,100 community music groups and 200,000 individual amateur musicians), the Learn to Play Day initiative saw a record 10,000 free lessons held during last year’s event.

“National Learn to Play Day gives everyone a chance to play an instrument, even if they’ve never played before,” said Jamie Cullum.

“This wonderful day introduces thousands to the magic of music making, and often reunites people with a lost passion for playing.

“Get involved and perhaps discover a skill you thought you didn’t have!”.

The 2020 Learn to Play Day will take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March, with participating Manchester stores including The Met in Bury, Forsyth Music Shop on Deansgate, and PMT Manchester on Regent Road.


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