Academy’s instrument joy

John Shaw and Julie Jackson from Blackpool Music Academy celebrate the arrival of donated instruments
John Shaw and Julie Jackson from Blackpool Music Academy celebrate the arrival of donated instruments
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The boss of Blackpool Music Academy has praised Gazette readers’ response to our Give Us A Tune appeal as “amazing” after the first instruments were donated.

Five keyboards, a ukelele and an acoustic guitar have been given to the Waterloo Road-based centre, just 10 days on from the campaign launch.

The Gazette hopes readers will donate 50 instruments to the centre as well as £20,000 to help subsidise lessons, with music academy boss John Shaw praising the “amazing response” so far.

The 67-year-old added: “I am quite surprised, I really am.

“All of a sudden over the weekend we have had seven instruments.

“Someone dropped off three keyboards, with them saying it came from the campaign they had seen in The Gazette. Hopefully, we will get even more now.

“We want to get as many as we can in the next few weeks.

“Fifty instruments is a tough target, but I know people must have some lying around which they don’t use anymore.”

Famous names including singer Little Boots, DJ Danny Howard, tenor Alfie Boe and stage star Jodie Prenger have already backed the appeal, which hopes to leave a lasting music legacy in the resort.

Julie Jackson, 46, music academy centre manager, said the response had been very pleasing – with one ukelele donated valued at £90.

She added: “It has been really good.

“The support from The Gazette has been excellent too.

“The first few days were quite quiet, but we now have the keyboards, a guitar and, of course, a ukelele.

“We are really happy. We just want some more. We need people to have a think and remember what might be lying around in their attics.

“The ukelele which has been donated is a Lanikai model, which is a really good make.

“The campaign is off and running now, and we just want people to keep giving and helping us out.”

The Academy aims to make music accessible to people from all walks of life – young or old, experienced or novice.

– To support our Give Us A Tune campaign, you can drop instruments off at the Academy on Waterloo Road, Blackpool. The academy can collect items from homes if required.

To donate money to the academy, visit

For more information, contact (01253) 695398.

– Get in touch with your stories or find out how to help by calling Gazette reporter Gareth Vickers on (01253) 361879.