Jamie Cullum launches bid to break record for largest music lesson

Jamie Cullum has launched a bid to break the Guinness World Record for the largest music lesson ever held.

The jazz musician, 41, will host a virtual class on December 9 teaching people how to play the Christmas carol, In The Bleak Midwinter, on the piano.

A number of schools from across the UK have signed up to take part but the session will also be open to members of the public.

Cullum, who last month released a festive album called The Pianoman At Christmas, is calling for donations to Age UK, to fund its efforts to help older people during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “I had really wanted to create music that would celebrate the bringing of people together at this magical time of year.

“I wrote the album during the first lockdown and at that point I don’t think any of us imagined that we’d still be in a similar situation come Christmas time.

“I’ve seen so many imaginative ways of creating a spirit of togetherness from the artistic community this year, in spite of how physically apart we’ve actually been.

“I’m passionate about how music and the participation of making it can form such powerful bridges between people.

Queen Elizabeth II 92nd birthday
Queen Elizabeth II 92nd birthday

“With that in mind, I will be holding a virtual music lesson on the 9th of December to teach people how to play a Christmas carol on the piano.

“Schools across the UK will be getting involved but the lesson is open to absolutely everyone and together we’re going to attempt to break the world record for the largest music lesson ever held.”

In The Bleak Midwinter, a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti first published in 1872, does not feature on Cullum’s new album, which is all original music.

The Pianoman At Christmas was recorded at London’s famous Abbey Road studios with a 57-piece band and produced by Greg Wells, who oversaw The Greatest Showman soundtrack.

The music lesson will be in association with Bonza, a resource for music in schools, supporting teachers and pupils and led by well-known artists.

The lesson will take place online on December 9 at 2pm. More information is available at thepianomanatchristmas.com.