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Manchester City defender launches music education programme for UK schoolchildren



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Manchester City defender Nathan Ake has partnered with Casio to help improve music education across the country for schoolchildren.

The 29-year-old has spoken openly about learning to play the piano during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, with the Dutch defender the latest Manchester City star to be involved in local community work.

Ake, who moved to the Etihad Stadium from Bournemouth in August 2020, has partnered with Casio to launch a new initiative, with the UK-wide programme launching across Greater Manchester earlier this year.

The defender helped Manchester City to a record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League title on-field during the recent campaign, and will be bidding for international silverware with Holland at the European Championship in Germany this summer.

Ake has won nine trophies since his arrival in east Manchester, including the UEFA Champions League, Emirates FA Cup, Carabao Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup, alongside three Premier League titles.

The centre-back has spent time at Chelsea, Bournemouth, Watford and Reading during his career in England, and revealed in an interview with Sky Sports last year about developing a love for playing the piano.

The 29-year-old is now hoping to inspire others, and recently visited the East Manchester Academy to launch a pilot programme in partnership with Casio, as six schools across Greater Manchester received a donation of 10 Casio pianos, according to outlet Mixmag.

The project ‘Playing For Change’ is said to be a “groundbreaking donation project” aiming to improve music education provisions at disadvantaged schools and colleges across the UK.

Speaking about the initiative, Ake said: “Learning to play the piano during lockdown was a revelation for me. It gave me a sense of calm and focus during a difficult time, and it continues to bring me joy and stress relief, especially between games.”