Manchester City’s Nathan Aké launches music education initiative for disadvantaged schools

Manchester City’s Nathan Aké launches music education initiative for disadvantaged schools

Manchester City footballer Nathan Aké has teamed up with Casio to launch a new music education initiative, Playing For Change.

The first-of-its-kind initiative will see digital pianos donated to some of the UK’s most disadvantaged schools experiencing a lack of funding in their music departments.

The pilot programme was first launched in February with the donation of 10 Casio pianos to six schools in Manchester, identified as being in critical need by the national music charity Restore The Music.

Amongst the recipient schools was East Manchester Academy, located in “one of the city’s most deprived areas”, which received two Casio CDP-S110 digital pianos hand-delivered by the footballer.

The initiative will now expand across the UK with a goal to donate two pianos every month to disadvantaged schools and colleges around the country for a year.

Aké, who plays for both Premier League club Manchester City and the Dutch national football team, learned to play the piano during the first Covid-19 lockdown and testifies to its many benefits, including improved mental wellbeing, and enhanced focus and discipline.

“Learning to play piano has offered me so many positives – from supporting my mental health, to helping me wind down from football,” Aké shared. “With the support of Restore The Music, some of Manchester’s most deprived children will have the chance to enjoy the same benefits of music education that they may not have had before.”

According to the press release, the schools involved will all receive a portable 88 full-size, weighted key digital piano – the Casio CDP-S110 – which comes with a stand, headphones and additional sustain pedal.

Neil Evans, Head of Casio EMI, added: “Music holds the power to enhance the lives of people from all walks of life and shouldn’t be the privilege of the few. Working with Nathan who understands the benefits of learning piano, complements our wellbeing, health and educational initiative to provide access to music for even more young people.”

UK-registered education institutions can apply for the scheme here.

Watch a video about the Playing For Change project below.

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