One of the most surprising things about Learn to Play Day is not the success of it, but the fact that it’s the first time the industry has done it.
And when you see just how well retailers up and down the country reacted to the opportunity, it’s a real wonder that it took so long. So credit to Music For All and the MIA for helping to create the opportunity. A real case of ‘if you build it they will come’.
And they did, with more than 65 shops nationwide putting on all manner of drum clinics, free lessons, performances and assorted other activities designed to drive traffic in-store.
Not only that, but the day is great publicity for the stores at a local level and for the industry at a national level, with many of the national media picking up on the story.
“I managed to get to five shops on Saturday and was knocked out by all the passion and planning that had clearly gone into the event,” said MIA CEO, Paul McManus. “I have also had e-mails from teachers saying what a pleasure it was to work with our music shops.
“I was told of full car parks and major crowds at some locations. Others told me of a steady stream of pupils, with many making immediate instrument purchases. We had some great media coverage before the event and on the day.
“Many shops are expecting a ‘ripple effect’ that results from the event and will be tracking both visitors to the shop and the shop’s website over the coming weeks.”
Musicroom ran the initiative in its 17 stores and had goodie bags, live music performances, lessons, professional posters (they had created their own with the images.) It also made good use of Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness.
Absolute Music and Sheehans fully embraced the day, with a mayoral opening, live music, drum circles and teaching on all sorts of instruments.
Chappell of Bond Street could boast comedian Al Murray giving his first drum lesson on the day and also had goodie bags and lanyards for the kids.
Specialist shops also got in on the act. Markson Pianos did an event in the shop and one in Foyles Bookshop at Charing Cross Road used famous pianists and even had the author, Charles Caselton, having a piano lesson.
Vale Pianos and Yorkshire Pianos also had good days, with Vale even organising a Paint a Piano event.
Just Flutes in Croydon picked up sales on instruments as a result of the day. Howarth of London reported a similar uptake and Drumwright managed to get on BBC Berks with Deep Purple drummer, Ian Paice amd Big Country’s Mark Brzezicki also apearing in-store.
Without doubt, the day was a complete success and created a great platform to build an even bigger event next year.
Seems like it wasn’t just the punters that learned something valuable on the day.
Picture courtesy of the Reading Evening Post.