Allegro Optical enjoys “Entente Cordiale” between Paris and Saddleworth

It was “Entente Cordiale” when ’Cornemuse’, or French Bagpipe player Agnes looked to Saddleworth and Holmfirth for a solution to her vision problems.

We receive quite a few enquiries through our website from frustrated musicians and a good number over the phone. Occasionally an enquiry gives us pause for thought and this was exactly what happened when Parisienne French Pipe teacher Agnes Lefebvere contacted us. 

Agnes explained that she was having real problems focusing, not on her music on her stand, but on that of her students. She had visited at least four optometrists. Always trying to try to find a pair of spectacles which met her needs Agnes was disappointed and frustrated. Agnes explained to us that she needed to read both music on her stand and her students. Having tried single vision glasses with a set point of focus for her music stand, a single focus pair for her students stand, varifocals and occupational lenses, all of which hadn’t worked, she was at her whits end.

Piper Agnes plays with a number of marching pip bands and turned to Allegro Optical the musicians optician for help to see the music and reducing eyesight

Increasingly frustrated, Agnes took to the internet. She set about trying to try to find a solution to her vision problems and found Allegro Optical. When she contacted us she explained her requirements and set out what she expected from a pair of “music glasses”. Agnes stands to the right of her students and often has to use two music stands, one in front of the student and her own.

It’s all about the pipes

Agnes teaches her students how to play a variety of both French and Scottish pipes and bagpipes. A feature of many French bagpipes is the position of the tenor drone. Located in the same stock as the chanter rather than alongside the bass drone. This places the student on the teachers left and can provide some visual challenges.

Luckily our Managing Director Stephen Tighe has quite a few Bagpipe playing friends. So a few phone calls were made to old military band colleagues. Pipers don’t usually use printed music when marching. They tend to play from memory, so it was just the teaching problems to solve. Working with Agnes using Skype and watching her teach  we came up with an interesting solution. 

It’s all about approaching the problem from a musicians perspective

Piper Agnes plays with a number of marching pip bands and turned to Allegro Optical the musicians optician for help to see the music and reducing eyesight

What Agnes needed was a lens that weakened in dioptric power for her left eye.  This would allow her to view her own music and her students. We dispensed Agnes with a single focus lens to her right eye for her music stand and one of our Fogoto lenses, rotated by 90 degrees to her left. The monocular solutions allows Agnes to read her own music while also being able to follow what her students are playing.

Agnes loves her new glasses from Allegro OPtical opticians in Greenfield Saddleworth and Holmfirth The musician's optician

We posted the new glasses to Agnes a couple of weeks later and waited to hear how she got on. It wasn’t long before Agnes contacted us saying; “My husband picked up my new glasses in the mail on Wednesday when we were not there when they tried to deliver them. The glasses are so much better than anything I’ve ever used before, thank you very much.

I think I still have to move a little, but not as much as in previous pairs. Now I see the music of my students and my own desk much better. They are definitely better than my old glasses. I was a little afraid to buy glasses online, but I am very satisfied with the quality of frames and glasses. Your customer service is second to none and I will definitely be using your business again. I already recommended you to several friends. Thank you for your help.”

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

An independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs.

Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).  

We treat each client as an individual and it is true that no two musicians are the same. SO why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the  ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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