• The Forsyths Blog

    April 27, 2019

    A wonderful workshop with the authors of Piano Safari!

    What a wonderful workshop today (Saturday 27 April 2019) from the authors of the innovative Piano Safari series, Katherine Fisher and Julie Knerr Hague! In a crowded market, they’ve created something genuinely unique – a fresh, fun but absolutely thorough method that combines learning both by rote and by reading for maximum engagement and enjoyment, with online videos to help parents encourage learners at home. Browse the series for yourself here!

    We were very grateful to Katherine and Julie for joining us all the way from the USA; to Andrew Higgins of Alfred Music UK, who distribute their publications in Europe, for the generous complimentary teacher packs; and to the piano teachers who braved the elements, contributed their thoughts and questions, and even volunteered during demonstrations!

    Join us at our next free piano teacher workshop, exploring the revised Adult Piano Adventures series, on Saturday 1 June, and receive a free teacher pack plus a special on-the-day 15% discount on Piano Adventures titles: click here for details and booking information!

    1 Piano Safari2 Piano Safari3 Piano Safari

  • The Forsyths Blog

    April 19, 2019

    BBC Proms 2019 Festival Guide out now! Plus Easter Opening Times

    BBC Proms 2019The beautifully-produced, full-colour official guide to the BBC Proms 2019 is out now and available in-store, by phone (0161 834 3281, ext. 204) and online here, so you won’t miss a thing: 180 pages of listings and in-depth articles to help you to plan your summer of music!

    Meanwhile, here are our seasonal opening times for the Easter weekend:

    Friday 19 April: 11am – 5pm

    Saturday 20 April: 9am – 5.30pm

    Sunday 21 April: CLOSED

    Monday 22 April: CLOSED

    Tuesday 23 April: 9am – 5.30pm

  • The Forsyths Blog

    April 12, 2019

    Forthcoming Events: free workshops for piano teachers and pianists, plus a charity lunchtime concert

    We are delighted to invite you to these exciting forthcoming in-store events!

    PIANO SAFARI: TEACHER WORKSHOP with the authors Katherine Fisher and Dr Julie Knerr

    Saturday 27 April, 10am – 1pm | FREE entry | Please register in advance

    Authors Katherine Fisher and Dr Julie Knerr talk about the philosophy and creation of Piano Safari, an exciting new approach to piano teaching that, to quote the European Piano Teachers Association, “gets my vote for the young beginner!

    All participating teachers will receive a free Starter Pack worth £27.95, and will also be eligible on the day for 15% off all titles in the Piano Safari series!

    >>> Read more!

    EPTA PIANO WORKSHOP with Susan Bettaney (European Piano Teachers Association)

    Sunday 12 May, 11am – 4pm | FREE entry | Please register in advance

    The wonderful Susan Bettaney returns to host her latest free workshop for pianists of all ages who would like to gain experience of performing in front of a supportive audience – on a fantastic Schimmel grand piano – and to benefit from Susan’s vast experience and helpful advice.

    >>> Read more!

    CHARITY LUNCHTIME CONCERT with Daniel Ropota (Piano, RNCM)

    Friday 17 May, 12.30pm – 1.30pm | Retiring collection | Please reserve your seats in advance

    Ahead of his final-year recital at the Royal Northern College of Music later in the month, Romanian pianist Daniel Ropota performs the same programme here at Forsyth – a fantastic opportunity to hear a rising artist perform beautiful music on a fine piano for free in the city centre.

    There will be a retiring collection on behalf of the Musicians’ Union Benevolent Fund.

    >>> Read more!


    Saturday 1 June, 2pm – 4pm | FREE entry | Please register in advance

    Join Piano Adventures clinician Philippa Topham as she guides you through the Adult Piano Adventures: All-in-One Course books. This comprehensive overview will cover the teaching of music notation, chord playing, rhythm, harmony, and musical form, all through engaging music.

    All attendees will receive a free Teacher Pack, including a volume from the Adult Piano Adventures series, and will be eligible on the day for 15% off titles in the Piano Adventures series!

    >>> Read more!

  • The Forsyths Blog

    March 28, 2019

    We gave 200 free lessons during Learn to Play Day weekend!

    Learn to Play Day – Saturday 23 - Sunday 24 March 2019

    This year we achieved our goal of giving 200 free taster lessons on more than 20 different instruments in just one weekend!

    It was wonderful to welcome so many people to the shop and hear their stories. For some it was a dream come true to have a go on an instrument they’d always wanted to try. For others it helped them overcome the practical or psychological barriers associated with starting a new instrument or returning to one they used to play. And for many children and their parents it was the perfect way for them to try out several instruments before committing to a course of lessons at school.

    We have supported Learn to Play Day – organised by the charity Music for All to encourage participation in music – since it began in 2012 and this was our biggest one yet. We managed to find space and time to accommodate individual and joint lessons on piano, voice, guitar, ukulele, balalaika, and all the major woodwind, brass and string instruments, including harp, as well as our fully-booked group ukulele lesson for 30 beginners of all ages.

    As ever, we couldn’t have done it without the wonderful teachers who so generously volunteered their time and expertise: these included students from the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester, musicians and teachers from all over Manchester, as well as vocal and instrumental specialists from Forsyth:

    Lou Armer and Mike Byrne (group ukulele) • Kathryn Burke (recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, cornet, trombone, ukulele, balalaika) • Holly Calder (piano) • Lauren Collings (trumpet, cornet, tenor horn, French horn) • Lottie Gleadall (voice) • Malcolm Goodare (cello) • Lucy-Rose Graham (voice, piano, cello) • Matthew Jones (flute) • Carl Leighton (piano) • Mark Leighton (classical, acoustic, electric and bass guitar) • Johanna ShuTing Leung (clarinet) • Emily McArthur (recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone) • Helen Milroy (violin, viola) • Joe Nickson (bass guitar, double bass) • Alice Dwyer Roberts (harp) • Joe Sharples (trombone) • Michael Welton (guitar, ukulele, violin) • Christine Zhou (piano)

    We are also very grateful for the musical stationery and toys kindly donated by ABRSM, Breitkopf & Härtel, Music Distribution Services GmbH, Oxford University Press and Schott Music Ltd. These were greatly appreciated by the learners who received them in their goody bags along with our own special discount vouchers.

    Above: Photos by Rachel Burt of the group ukulele lesson lead by Lou Armer of Lou and the Llamas and Mike Byrne of Levenshulme Uke Up

  • The Forsyths Blog

    February 20, 2019

    FREE MUSIC LESSONS on LEARN TO PLAY DAY! – & other events in March

    March sees the return of the hugely popular Learn to Play Day: at last year’s event we gave away 180 free music lessons on over 20 instruments in just one weekend, and this year we plan to offer even more! We are also delighted to welcome back the meetup group Let’s Play the Piano! and to return to the Royal Northern College of Music for their annual Chamber Music Festival


    SAT 9 MAR | 2.30pm – 4.30pm | In-store event

    Friendly meet-up group for adult amateur pianists and piano-lovers to play and hear a wide variety of music in a relaxed environment: everything from Bach to Gershwin to The Greatest Showman!


    FRI 15 – SUN 17 MAR | Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD

    The RNCMs prestigious annual celebration of chamber music, which this year explores Haydn’s innovations and his influence on later composers. Browse our extensive ranges of sheet music, instruments, accessories and gifts in the public Exhibition!


    SAT 23 – SUN 24 MAR | Sat:  9.30am – 5.30pm | Sun: 11.30am – 5pm | In-store event

    Open to all! If you’ve always wanted to play an instrument but never had the chance, or if your children are trying to decide on an instrument to take up at school, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy friendly, expert taster lessons for free! All agesno experience necessary, instruments provided.

    Book now for piano, voice, guitar, ukulele, balalaika, and all the major woodwind, brass and string instruments, including harp: 0161 834 3281 (extension 204) or learntoplay@forsyths.co.uk.

  • The Forsyths Blog

    February 2, 2019

    Join the Forsyth Accounts Team

    Forsyths, the long established music shop in central Manchester, requires an enthusiastic, reliable and trustworthy person to join its accounts team. The position is full time (5 days per week) permanent position. It would require working on alternate Saturdays and on a rota system for Sundays. The principle responsibility of this post will be for the purchase ledger however there are other accounts team joint responsibilities that are shared within the team of three. Whilst not essential an interest in music and musical instruments would be an advantage.

    For a detailed job description and the requirements for the role please visit our jobs page

    Deadline 1 March 2019

  • The Forsyths Blog

    January 31, 2019

    An EPTA PIANO WORKSHOP with a twist & the first MANCHESTER VOCAL WEEKEND at Chetham’s

    In February we have a rare opportunity for pairs of pianists to work on a piece with two specialists in the field, Susan Bettaney and Amy Wakefield of the European Piano Teachers Association, while the next stop for our pop-up shop is the inaugural Manchester Vocal Weekend at Chetham’s School of Music!

    Plus check out photos of January’s events here, including an inspiring workshop on piano technique with Melanie Spanswick, the busiest ever session of Let’s Play the Piano! and our visits to the RNCM Strings Festival and Craig Ogden’s Guitar Weekend at the Bridgewater Hall…



    Join us for a special workshop for pairs of pianists, playing either piano duets (four hands, one piano) or duos (two pianos).

    Gain experience of performing in front of a supportive audience – on a fantastic Schimmel grand piano – and benefit from the vast experience and helpful advice of Susan Bettaney (seen below, warming up both players and audience at an EPTA workshop at Forsyth last year) and Amy Wakefield of the European Piano Teachers Association!


    We are very excited to be involved in the very first Manchester Vocal Weekend: two days of workshops, masterclasses and recitals with Marcus Farnsworth (baritone), Ruby Hughes (soprano) and Joseph Middleton (piano) at Chetham’s School of Music. Participants will enjoy a 10% discount at our pop-up shop of vocal and choral sheet music, recordings, accessories and gifts! Anyone involved in Come and Sing: Haydn’s Nelson Mass can also get 15% off the New Novello Choral Edition at Forsyth from now until 24 February!

    EPTA May 2018 Manchester Vocal Weekend

  • Sheet Music Department

    January 17, 2019

    A much-needed piano method for intermediate and advanced players

    Ahead of our free workshop with acclaimed pianist, composer, author and educator Melanie Spanswick on Saturday 26 January, we take a closer look at her new series of books, Play it again: PIANO. While it is primarily aimed at those who are returning to the piano after a break, it is also a perfect course for intermediate and advanced pianists, who have had to make do without modern, structured method books until now…

    FORSYTH RECOMMENDS… Play it again: PIANO by Melanie Spanswick

    Book 1: Grade 1 – Grade 4 (£14.99) | Book 2: Grade 5 – Grade 8 (£14.99)

    Not just “the perfect way to rediscover the piano”, but also a much-needed, structured course for the intermediate and advanced pianist, for use either with or without a teacher.

    With so much modern piano tuition material available at the elementary levels, teachers and learners have often been surprised at the lack of similar publications for more developed pianists. Although an experienced teacher can guide a student through a suitable selection of repertoire and studies gathered from various publications, many would still prefer to work through a single curated course – and for the self-learner the need for such method books has gone unfulfilled until now.

    Melanie Spanswick’s new Play it again: PIANO offers a careful selection of 49 pieces, printed in progressive order from Grade 1 to Grade 8, each making different technical and musical demands, which the author discusses in her detailed accompanying texts. For each piece, she offers guidance on suitable warm-ups and the most effective practice techniques, including tailor-made exercises, as well as advice on interpretation.

    Those returning to the piano after a break may wish to refresh their technique by working through Book 1, while players who are already in practice could choose to begin with either Book 1 or Book 2. A third book, due for release in March, will offer continuing support for players from Grade 8 up to Diploma level.

    You can see sample pages from Books 1 and 2 on our website!

    And teachers, parents and learners who would like to work on their technique with the author in person can sign up for the Piano Workshop with Melanie Spanswick at Forsyth on Saturday 26 January! Book now via events@forsyths.co.uk or 0161 834 3281, ext. 204.

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