Star Manchester City footballer Nathan Aké is donating pianos to local schools

19 February 2024, 17:04 | Updated: 19 February 2024, 17:35

Manchester City footballer Nathan Aké on piano playing

By Kyle Macdonald

One of Premiere League football’s biggest stars is a keen pianist, and has just donated instruments to deprived Manchester schools to get more young people engaging with music.

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One of the Premier League’s top footballers is on a campaign to get keyboards into schools, and is sharing his own piano journey in an effort to inspire others into music.

Dutch footballer Nathan Aké has been playing in England ever since he began his senior career with Chelsea in 2012. In 2020 he signed to Manchester City and last year won the Premier League, Champion’s League and FA Cup with the club, the highly coveted ‘treble’ of trophies for English clubs.

But off the pitch, it’s all about treble clefs. Aké says that he always wanted to play piano, but for many years never got the opportunity. It was during the pandemic and the lockdowns of 2020 that the star defender took the chance to realise his dream of playing piano.

On a recent visit to a Manchester school, Aké told ITV he “got really obsessed” with playing the piano. “I was playing every day,” he added. “I had to see and feel the progress... I think that motivated me.”

The footballer said he feels a sense of achievement when things “click” after hours of practice. The sports star says that making music is the perfect counterpoint to the demands of the top flight of professional sport.

Read more: F1 driver Charles Leclerc is a self-taught pianist who now composes his own music

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Aké is supporting the ‘Playing for Change’ campaign, where Casio Music UK helps bring keyboards and piano playing to deprived schools. Six schools in Manchester will benefit from instruments donated by the footballer.

Aké says he believes every young person should have the opportunity to learn and play music. On his school visit, he shared that he feels music is a great way to create bonds between people, but also good for an individual’s focus and mental health.

“When you really tune into the music, it’s just the music – just you and the piano and nothing else,” he said.

“I think that can be, for the mental health... it’s a good getaway, in a very positive way.”