POP stars Elton John, David Bowie and Sting have all pledged their old instruments in support of a new campaign to encourage young people to take up music. The National Foundation for Youth Music and the BBC have launched a scheme in which people across the country are encouraged to donate unwanted instruments. The donations will then be distributed via local authority music serices and community groups to young people before the start of the new school year.
The "instrument amnesty" aims to collect 10,000 instruments by the end of May. It will be incorporated into the BBC's Music Live event, next month, which has been billed as the most ambitious music broadcast ever. To donate an instrument, call the BBC Audience Line on 08700 100125.