Friday 22 March 2019

Sir Paul backs instrument 'amnesty'

Sir Paul McCartney is backing a musical instrument amnesty
Sir Paul McCartney is backing a musical instrument amnesty

Sir Paul McCartney, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and singer Jessie J have given their backing to a national musical instrument "amnesty" which has already collected 3,000 items.

Chart star Labrinth has handed over a guitar, while Laura Marling has given a dulcimer as people around the UK pitch in help provide instruments for primary school children in need.

The amnesty was launched by pianist James Rhodes to coincide with his Channel 4 series Don't Stop the Music Campaign, with people encouraged to drop unwanted instruments into branches of Oxfam.

One branch of the charity's chain of 700 shops has collected 41 instruments and the highest individual donation has been 15.

Most popular so far have been unwanted violins, followed by guitars, while more unusual items have included a bowed psaltery (a type of zither) and a sitar.

Other stars who have pledged their backing include Damon Albarn, Kaiser Chief's Ricky Wilson, Tinie Tempah and U2's The Edge.

Sir Paul told how it was a teenage gift which put him on the road to fame and fortune, saying: "If it hadn't been for my dad giving me a trumpet on my 14th birthday, which I traded for a Framus Zenith guitar, I'd have never joined The Beatles."

Encouraging others to make donations, he said: " You might inspire a future rock star."

James is delighted by the success so far and said: "It's completely overwhelming that so many outstanding musicians are backing the amnesty.

"We must give every child the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

"Thousands of kids have a hunger and thirst to learn music that is simply not being met.

"It just doesn't add up, does it?

"They're not just m issing out one of life's great pleasures, but on an activity proven to boost self-confidence, discipline, teamwork, concentration, and performance in other subjects."

Further details of the amnesty - which runs until October 17 - are at www.dontstopthemusic.co.uk.

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