Looking for something creative to do this weekend? You could take on a new instrument and learn how to play violin, piano, drums or ukulele with professional musicians — and all for free. Saturday marks the fourth edition of National Learn To Play Day, organised by charity Music for All. The event takes place all over the country with its epicentre in London — and there are plenty of free events happening.
Yamaha Music London in Soho hosts free one-to-one taster lessons from 11am until 4.30pm. It's best to book your place in advance (be quick, they are filling up fast). During the day, the music shop welcomes special guest Ace, lead guitarist from Skunk Anansie, who will perform a special series of music tutorials alongside professional teachers from 2pm-5pm.
The Royal Festival Hall is hosting the Fender Learn to Play Day, a whole day of music, learning and fun. Tasters lessons are now sold out but you can still turn up on the day and try the guitars, meet the Fender team and enjoy acoustic performances by Fender- and Southbank-affiliated artists.
Other music stores and venues around Greater London also taking part in the initiative on 22 March:
- Bell Percussion, 6 Greenock Road, Acton, W3 8DU - Phone: 020 8896 1200
- Foote’s, 41 Store Street, WC1E 7DB - Phone: 020 7323 2213
- Markson Pianos, 8 Chester Court, Albany Street, NW1 4BU - Phone: 0207 935 8682
- Melodians Steel Orchestra, Henry Cavendish School, Hyde Thorpe Road, SW12 0JA - Phone: 0208 578 6485
- Musicroom, 11 Denmark Street, WC2H 8TD - Phone: 020 7632 3950
- Pro Music London, 2 Scrubs Lane, College Park, NW10 6RB - Phone: 0208 960 0838
- saxwindbrass.london, 85 Hampstead Road, NW1 2PL - Phone: 0207 836 7172
- Umbrella Music, 2 Greenleaf Road, E17 6QQ - Phone: 0208 521 0261
- Hillsound/MI Repairs, 24/26 High Street, Hampton Hill, TW12 1PD - Phone: 020 8977 7788
- Sound Attak, Mike Coleman, 3 Suttons Lane, Hornchurch, RM12 6RD - Phone: 01708 478 450
- The Music Department, 67 London Road, St Albans, AL1 1LN - Phone: 01727 898300
- The Old Vinyl Factory, Blyth Road, Hayes, UB3 1HA - Phone: 07500 860700
Learn to Play Day takes place in different venues on 21 and 22 March. Check with each provider about booking and availability. Find all participating stores and institutions across the UK here.
Want to take on a new musical instrument? Find out where to learn how to play music in London