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Skills: Our Guide to the Coolest Classes in Manchester

BY: Ruth Allan |15 Dec 2015

Haven't you always had a leaning towards being that mysterious character at a party who seemingly has an unending knowledge of wide-spanning topics? Or wanted to surprise your pals with insights that make you look like a human encyclopaedia?  Well you've chosen the right city to live in, because Manchester boasts a huge array of classes depending on your interest, and here are just a few to pique your interest:

Cracking Good Food

Are you ready to throw some dinner parties people are going to be talking about for days? Cracking Good Food is a Manchester-based cookery school and community cooking network that focuses on using sustainable and seasonable ingredients. Open to learners of all abilities, daytime and evening classes range from the Punjabi cuisine to pasta, bread making to sushi and even include wild food foraging. Classes are kept small so everyone gets the opportunity to prepare, cook and eat together. Working with local organisations and community groups, experienced assistants offer advice on how to cook seasonally and source ingredients locally. Covering areas such as Chorlton, Didsbury, Flixton, Prestwich and the cosmopolitan Northern Quarter, their month-to-month calendar has something for everyone. Prices start from around £60 and classes generally last six hours.

Ableton Live 1-to-1 at Brighter Sound

Aspiring DJs, this is the course for you. Brighter Sound have a five week course that offers bespoke tuition for entry-level and intermediate users of Ableton Live. A software package that allows for songwriting, recording, composition, production, remixing, beat-making and live performance, Ableton Live is incredibly versatile and being set in a venue that offers the city's most forward-thinking gigs, Band on the Wall, it's ideal for those looking for something that will cater to their individual needs. For £150, these one-to-one classes are run by DJ Mike Richardson (he's released on Nueva Deep, Retweak Records and is affiliated with Mancunian nights Xpansion and Box Society) and can help you with midi controllers, loop samples, creating your own track from scratch and so much more. Learners are required to bring their own laptop and there's an option for absolute beginners to learn the basics of Ableton Live in a small group.

Basketball with Sports For All Centres

If you want to get fitter but the idea of joining a gym bores you, Sports For All Centres are the ideal gateway for those wanting to learn a new sport in Stockport, Oldham, Bury or Warrington. They offer free 'come and try' sessions where learners don't have to commit to any future plans, but should they want to, they can progress onto £4 sessions (£3 for juniors) with a view to get placed in a team to suit their ability and take part in weekly basketball leagues. The classes cover all areas, including the rules, key skills, guided match-play practice and leaders will also help with development of match-play fitness. Coaching and officiating courses are also available.

Drawing Techniques with Creative Art Courses

Targeting learners of beginner, intermediate and advanced abilities, the Drawing Techniques classes in city centre Manchester by Creative Art Courses will teach you how to improve your creativity and drawing skills. The £170 six-week course running every Monday evening will teach you practical techniques, allowing you to draw more expressively and improve your inventiveness. Experiential processes developed by internationally renowned author, poet and artist Heather Spears will be used; giving you the opportunity to take your drawing beyond the predictable and invigorate your creativity. The six two and a half hour classes all have a clear structure and culminate in a full session of still life drawing. A lot of items are already provided (easels, charcoal, bulldog clips, etc.) but some essentials are required from the learner (various pencils, erasers and more).

Code Up Manchester

What makes Code Up Manchester stand out is the fact their mentoring program for adults is free. These workshops run once a month and cater to people with no programming skills, those with basic knowledge and even learners with intermediate to advanced skills who just want to immerse themselves in some coding space; mentors will always be on-hand to answer any questions. Their current sessions run every fourth Wednesday of the month at Building Blocks (Piccadilly Gardens) and have areas for people learning HTML & CSS, JavaScript and mobile development, as well as other languages. The structure involves them providing online resources for you to learn the basics, and mentors will be there to guide you.

It might be something you missed out on at school, or a skill you'd like to know a bit more about; but either way, there are so many classes in Manchester to help you expand your knowledge.

By Edwina Chan at Manchester Wire


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