Learn to Play Day – how can retailers and suppliers work together to make more musicians?


Hi everyone, Alice here! As you all know, Learn to Play Day is coming up on the 17th and 18th of March 2018. I’ll be co-ordinating the project this year and wanted to take the time to talk about why it’s so important to get involved, and how you can do so.

The basic premise of the weekend is to offer the general public free (short) ‘taster’ lessons in order to quickly show them that they CAN be a musician. I don’t need to convince you of the amazing benefits of music making; it’s something that as a community of music makers we’ve all experienced first-hand.

Over the years, we’ve had some real heart-warming success stories come out of the weekend. Take Jinny, for example, who after a 20 minute Learn to Play Day session at Dawkes is still playing the clarinet 5 years later and is part of a number of bands and orchestras. She says “Whatever your age, there’s nothing to stop you picking up an instrument and achieving your musical dreams!” (Read her full story here).

This is an excellent opportunity to increase awareness and visibility of your shop/organisation within your local community. You will be amazed how many people do not know you are there!

Never underestimate a parent’s desire for their child to learn or play music, especially if their school does not have a strong music offering. Equally there are millions of adults out there that used to play and want to start again. But many people are intimidated by music shops (honestly). Therefore, the knowledge that you are offering free educational, enjoyable activities on Learn to Play Day breaks down the hurdle of ‘getting them in the door’ and is a great opportunity to bypass the far bigger issue – the ‘fear’ of music shops – than you might imagine.


There is a great deal that the Music for All team can do to help you put your Learn to Play Day event together. Get in touch and I’ll show you how easy it can be to advertise your event, open up your doors for the day and let people have a go! alice@mia.org.uk


Over the years, many of you have offered some brilliant support to help retailers make their Learn to Play Day weekend a success. Could you send out some staff to help on the day? Provide a prize for an in store competition? Offer a special voucher for Learn to Play Day participants to encourage retailers to get involved? There’s nothing stopping you from holding you own event, find a venue, take along some gear, and get those consumers interested! Please do get in touch with me if you can help alice@mia.org.uk