The Drum has joined forces with The Guitar Social to not only break the official Guinness World Record for the longest guitar lesson ever but also to give more visually impaired people the chance to experience the joy of making music.
Kicking off on 18 July at 6pm and running until the following day, the event will see The Drum collaborate with tutors from The Guitar Social to bring around 200 guitarists up to speed.
The lessons will be aimed at beginners and will see people split into classes of 10 to cover the 24 hours. Afterwards, the event will end with a mass jam in a new public square in London City Island where around 200 people will play the same song en masse.
The initiative has already gained the support of Spotify and Ballymore, and The Drum is now looking for marketers from across the industry to pledge their backing to this worthwhile cause.
Currently, there is no official Guinness World Record for the longest in-person guitar lesson. So, we're inviting marketers from across the industry to make history.
You can join in as an individual or as a business for free, or if you'd like to support the work The Guitar Social is doing you can make a donation by investing in one of the packages the organisation has put together for the event.
The Guitar Social specialises in teaching guitar to vulnerable and isolated communities including refugees, the homeless, and young people at risk of re-offending as well as those who are visually impaired and blind.
All money raised by this project will allow The Guitar Social to extend a course specifically designed to help the visually impaired learn to play the guitar. The scheme has already been successfully piloted at the RNIB in London, where the power of music to counter social isolation and promote inclusion has been underlined.
The Drum's co-founder and editor-in-chief, Gordon Young, said of the world record attempt: “We love this initiative as it is a great example of how music is a magical form of communication and why it is such driver of our culture, which is partly what inspired us to call The Drum, The Drum. There is no better metaphor for what the marketing industry is all about.”
The Guitar Social has provided a living example of how music really does underpin social cohesion, detailing how the RNIB group it hosts has helped some members feel less isolated.
One of the project's successes Mary, who at the age of 96 played her first live gig with help from The Guitar Social. The London-based organisation now wants to roll the project out to others to ensure many more visually impaired people can benefit from its services.
A major part of this will include the creation of online audio courses and resource which will be distributed to as many as possible via a platform such as Spotify.
Depending on the success of this project, further money can be invested in getting guitar teachers into other centres, such as the RNIB, as well as developing a guitar specifically designed for the visually impaired.
The Guitar Social recently joined The Drum at the Cannes Lions festival to celebrate the emotive power of music with a very special performance from The Marching Cobras - a community programme from Harlem, New York that supports local teenagers.
Thomas Binns, who leads The Guitar Social said of the launch, "our association with The Drum makes perfect sense. The Drum was the first tool of mass communication and they believe in commenting on a wide scale-which is exactly what we're working towards."
On attempting to break the world record, he said, "I thought it would be good to do something challenging in acknowledgement of the challenges my learners go through, because many of our learners learn through hardship, whether that's physical pain or ill mental health and all of them go on to do something big and out of their comfort zone. Attempting a world record just seemed like the right thing to do."
To find out more about how you and your organisation can get involved, click here.