Learn to Play Day 2019 – the best year yet!


Learn to Play Day participant at Trevada Music Shop. Photo Credit: Kate Gibson

On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March, thousands of people across the UK took part in Music for All’s annual Learn to Play Day. Here’s Alice to tell you why this was the best event we’ve ever had…

People of all ages visited music venues, schools, and stores across the country, to try their hand at a new skill and take advantage of the free music lessons available.

Over 100 venues in England, Scotland and Wales participated in the event, some partnering with leading brands such as Fender, Yamaha, Casio, KORG, and Orange Amps, to enable participants to try a variety of musical instruments. For more information on the types of organisations that got involved and their activities, click here

We are delighted to report that 2019’s event was the best Learn to Play Day EVER!

The event was mentioned by Absolute Radio, The Sunday Mirror, Money Saving Expert, My Weekly and more.  Publications in almost every country in the UK reported on their local events

More importantly, the 107 venues that were involved met new customers, made sales and increased their visibility in their local communities. Don’t just take my word for it, here are some quotes from those involved:

Alan Barclay, Managing Director at Absolute Music: “Learn to Play Day has become the biggest day of the year for us and an essential part of our calendar. 700 people joined us for a dozen different workshops in one day, including drums, guitar, piano, singing, DJ skills and a recording studio experience. With children struggling to get access to music in schools due to budget cuts, Learn to Play Day gives them a chance to experience a wide selection of musical instruments and have a load of fun at the same time. Bring on next year!”

Mark Harrison, Store Manager at Musicroom Lincoln: “One of the students that I taught piano was only six years old, and her mum said this was the first time her daughter had played a piano. It was such a pleasure to see her eyes light up with excitement for the lesson, and especially when we finished with her playing and following the lights on the Yamaha CSP170. I reminded staff that these students are ‘our customers of tomorrow”

Scott Monks, Rocksteady Music School: “Learn to Play day was full of so many awesome moments, including a young girl finding the confidence to sing along as her sister played guitar, a duo from a gospel band jamming with staff, and watching children and parents play together. Everyone that took part loved it, from new learners having their first experience of playing live, to talented musicians sharing their skills and picking up some new tricks.  Rocksteady staff took part in eight events at PMT stores across the country. We always enjoy working with Music for All to give everyone the opportunity to learn to play music, regardless of age or background.”

David Miller, Cardiff and Vale Music Service: “The best story of the day was a lady who came in and said that she used to play Violin at school, reaching Grade 7 standard. She had a go on one of our violins and was pleasantly surprised at how much she remembered. Later in the afternoon she returned to the shop, having gone home and found her old violin in the attic, and purchased a new set of strings and some music as she wanted to start playing again!”

A Hanna & Sons Pianos: “We had a very positive surge in music book sales on the day. Every single student that came bought at least one book with some buying up to 4 or 5!”

So, from Scotland to Cornwall, Wales to Norfolk, Learn to Play Day was a great weekend of making more musicians all over the UK!

A massive thank you to every retailer, manufacturer, tuition group, community organisation, orchestra and more that got involved. Plus our lovely partners at the Musicians’ Union, Take it Away, Making Music and The NAMM Foundation. 

Roll on next year! We’ll leave you with some of our favourite pictures from over the weekend:

Maizie King, 14, rockin’ it out at PMT Romford
A sax lesson at Forsyth’s, Manchester. Credit: Rachel Burt Photography
Danial and Zachary Thompson from Halifax enjoying the drums at an event run by Arts People
Julia Read on the piano at Sutton Music Centre – Credit Paula Smith Photography
Tobi and Imisi Adefala having fun at PMT Oxford
The famous Band of The Grenadier Guards making an appearance at The Music Hub’s event. Credit – Payley Photography
Falling in love with the Harp at Forsyths Manchester – Credit Rachel Burt Photography