• How music learning is changing – ABRSM releases 2021 report

    The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music has published its latest report, Learning, Playing and Teaching in the UK: ABRSM Making Music 2021. The report has some interesting findings and shows that a real shift in music learning has taken place. This is unsurprising given how Covid-19 and the various lockdowns that took place in 2020-21 had a huge effect on the music industry as a whole. It was detrimental in many ways but the report has highlighted opportunities to support more people to learn music.

    Some key findings from the report, last published in 2014 are below:


    86% of children are actively making music


    43% of adults are actively making music


    15% less children are learning a musical instrument than in 2014


    64% of children using digital resources for music learning.

    ABRSM Making Music 2021 highlights opportunities to address these fundamental issues around access to music learning and progression by recognising learner preferences, giving learners more personalised support and bringing schools, private music teachers and community music organisations together to encourage learners to keep learning.

    ABRSM Chief Executive Chris Cobb said: “ABRSM Making Music 2021 shows how an incredible 86% of children are actively making music today but we cannot ignore the very clear challenges which the latest report also sets out.

    “It is down to all of us in the sector to now build on this enthusiasm for music, and the tangible energy and optimism across many areas of music education right now, to meet the needs of today’s learners – whether they want to learn in classroom, in a community hall or alone at home.

    “The reason is simple. Music is about joy, about making connections.  Learning to play and sing helps us flourish as individuals and as part of society. Quality, personalised support for learners, wherever they are on their journey, will help to keep them excited, enthused and wanting to progress.

    “We must work together as a music education sector to reflect this and, even as we all facing rising costs, find ways to overcome the fundamental and deep-seated barriers that stop people accessing music learning in the first place.”

    The report is available to download here.

  • Give the gift of music this Christmas with these offers

    Shopping online for the music maker in your life this Christmas? We’ve picked out some special online offers and highlights from our network of over 130 retailers – all of them run the Take it away scheme and many of them deliver nationwide too. Grab an online bargain or see if there’s a music shop near you!

    Offers correct at time of writing, check each website for details!


    Ebony and Ivory, London
    Read our interview with them here

    Ebony and Ivory music shop

    They offer a 7.5% discount to any customers visiting their shop in person to buy an item they saw in their eBay store. To qualify, simply show them the listing or tell them the listing number when you make your purchase.  ebonyivory.co.uk


    2. Early Music Shop, Yorkshire/Suffolk

    Early Music Shop
    The Early Music Shop specialises in early musical instruments and accessories. You can get £5 off your next order over £25 when you join their newsletter, and up to 15% off various beginners bundles. earlymusicshop.com


    3. The Sax Shack, Stoke on Trent

    The Sax Shack doesn’t just sell saxophones – you can buy clarinets, flutes, trombones and accessories from them too. They have a sale on selected instruments and accessories for a limited time only: thesaxshack.co.uk

    Search for your nearest music shop

    4. Brittens Music, Kent

    It’s not just about buying an instrument, but you also need to remember all the accessories that come with it! The music stand, the case, it goes on! Brittens offer a great selection of ‘Beginners Bundles’ which have everything you need to get started and are always very popular as Christmas gifts! brittensmusic.co.uk


    5. The Soundgarden, Barnet, London

    The SoundGarden music shop has been trading since 1994 and is a general music store specialising in guitars but also offering a broad product range including accessories for most instruments. They have a special offers page featuring a wide variety of instruments on their website thesoundgarden.co.uk/Special-Offers/

    6. Rimmers – various sites including Blackpool, Edinburgh, Liverpool

    Selling both new and used equipment,  Rimmers Music offers competitive prices with long guarantees for peace of mind). If you’re stuck for ideas, Rimmers offers an excellent gift guide on their website. rimmersmusic.co.uk

    Don’t forget some of our top instrument buying tips:

    • Think about the person playing the instrument. What size will they need?
    • Remember there are different buying options available!
    • Check that spare parts/authorised service centres are readily available for the brand of instrument you choose.
    • If you do decide to purchase online, make sure you are familiar with distance selling regulations.

    Read the rest of our instrument buying tips here

    The Accordion Shop – Rochdale, Lancs/Sunningdale, Berks

    This long running family business is offering up to 20% off selected lines and various clearance deals on their website. theaccordionshop.co.uk


    Southern Percussion Essex

    This percussion specialist offers an array of instruments and accessories for the drummer/zylophone/marinba player in your life! They currently have a special offer running on soundproof practise mallets which are handy for keeping the noise down when playing at less sociable hours – buy one get 2nd half price! southernpercussion.com

    Gough and Davy, Hull

    If you’re not sure what to get your music maker for Christmas, a gift voucher could be a good idea so they can choose something themselves. Gough and  Davy are among the many retailers that do these, as well as various special offers & discounted items on their website. goughanddavy.co.uk



    Rainbow Music Carlisle

    As well as various special clearance offers, Rainbow music has a great keyboard starter pack, the ‘School Pack’ which includes keyboard, accessories and online music lessons. rainbowmusic.co.uk

    For more information on the Take it away scheme, our music shop members and more please follow the links below: