Make Music Day, the live global music celebration held annually on June 21, the summer solstice, today announced its updated schedule of events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration has moved to a virtual and social distanced experience to encourage all people, of all musical abilities, to celebrate the joy of making music. More than 85 U.S. cities and the entire states of Connecticut, Hawaii, Vermont and Wisconsin will participate in Make Music Day 2020, further highlighting the power of music to unite people across cultures, and to comfort, inspire and lift the human spirit.
Completely different than a traditional music festival, Make Music Day celebrates and promotes the natural music maker in all of us, regardless of age, ethnicity, background or skill level. Make Music Day (MMD) is an open invitation for everyone to make, enjoy, perform, teach and learn music on the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. Typically featuring over 5,000 free outdoor music making events in public spaces across the U.S., this year’s celebration is being produced virtually and observing social distancing guidelines.
Launched in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day has become a worldwide phenomenon observed today by hundreds of millions of people in over 1,000 cities spanning 120 countries. Make Music Day is presented in the U.S. by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the non-profit Make Music Alliance.
Make Music Day national highlights include:
25×12: Live Online Lessons – Music teachers in the U.S. and worldwide will offer 12 hours of free, online group lessons for 25 different instruments, from beginning to advanced levels. Jump around to sample a range of instruments or binge on 12 straight hours of your favorite. The lessons will be available via Zoom conference.
Bash the Trash – Bash the Trash Environmental Arts educators will teach participants how to make instruments from found objects on which to play “Ode To Joy” and “Baby Shark.”
Bedroom Studios – For the past several years, open-air recording studios called “Street Studios” have popped up on city sidewalks to celebrate MMD. This year, producers are pivoting to make music at home – in “Bedroom Studios” –using sounds that people send to them in the moment, while livestreaming so everyone can take part in the production process.
Flowerpot Music – Music will literally emanate from flowerpots in New York (NY), Hartford (CT), Chicago (IL), Philadelphia (PA) and elsewhere. Written by award-winning composer Elliott Cole and directed by percussionist Peter Perry, “Flowerpot Music” is a composition for an unlikely but beautiful instrument: the flowerpot!
Global Livestream – The Make Music Alliance is organizing an all-day video stream showcasing the rich diversity of music making events globally.
Live From Home – Record a musical performance from home on MMD, and tag three friends to challenge them to do the same.
Mass Appeal – People will gather online to make music in large, single-instrument groups in what is a unique musical happening. Mass Appeals being offered this year are The Heart Chant, Bucket Drumming and Mass Appeal Harmonicas.
#MySongIsYourSong – Musicians will join in a global song swap where they’ll learn a song by another artist, and hear theirs covered in return. All performers should use the hashtag #MySongIsYourSong.
Track Meet – Teams of four musicians will race against the clock to create brand new original tracks in a creative relay. Using the virtual audio workstation SoundTrap, each musician will get 90 minutes to add their contribution before the next teammate takes over. At day’s end, each team’s track will be published online for everyone to hear.
Window Serenades – Musicians, practicing social distancing, will perform outside select senior centers and nursing homes while the residents listen and watch safely from their windows. Residents may tape a piece of brightly colored paper to their window to request a song. Participating cities include Chicago (IL) and Ridgefield (CT), among others.
World’s Smallest Marching Band – Since 2011, “Sousapalooozas” bringing hundreds of brass, wind, and percussion players together to sight-read John Philip Sousa marches have been a MMD favorite. In 2020, in lieu of those large gatherings, brass and wind players will explore the other end of the scale by parading solo through cities and playing band repertoire to people listening from their homes or workplace.
Young Composers Contest – Winning pieces in a national juried contest in which composers ages 13-21 wrote and submitted a short 3-minute piece for a vocal quartet will be released online after being professionally recorded by the all-star Make Music Quarantet.
YouTube Live with Eric Whitacre – “A Boy and a Girl” Online Rehearsal and a conversation with Alex Lacamoire –At 12 pm, join one of the most celebrated & performed composers of our day, Eric Whitacre, rehearsing his much-loved choral piece “A Boy and a Girl” and in discussion with multiple Tony & Grammy award-winner, Alex Lacamoire (In the Heights, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen).
Across the U.S., Make Music Day city-specific highlights include:
#Summer Solstice Singalong Song – In New York (NY), a winning song chosen by New Yorkers will be sung by the entire city at 7 pm sharp to kick off the nightly chant in honor of frontline workers. All performers should use the hashtag #SummerSolsticeSingalongSong.
Virtual Shower Singing – The acoustics of showers make our voices sound amazing. Make Music Hartford’s (CT) Virtual Shower Singing offers multiple ways for people to share their vocals with the world. People can either take on MMH’s social media challenge or join in their virtual open mic.
“Grease” Drive-in Movie Sing-along – In Ridgefield (CT), a June 20 evening showing of the movie “Grease” in the parking lot of the local high school accompanied by downloadable lyrics for a sing-along will serve as the launch of the local MMD celebration.
Virtual Video Wall – In Washington (DC), the local organizers are asking for every musician within the region to submit up to three videos of themselves performing anytime before June 21. The organizers will then turn all submitted videos into a virtual “video wall of music (see here for an example).
Piano & Yoga – In Pittsburgh (PA), a local yoga instructor and pianist will offer a free one-hour virtual Yin yoga class so people can launch summer with live music and body awareness.
#ContagiousBeats – Jam along with prominent musicians from the comfort of your home. Stream or download one of the videos on Make Music Miami’s (FL) website and record your own part to contribute to the mix. MMM will broadcast the final mashup videos featuring the best contributions from the public.
Drumming from Your Doorstep – Everyone in Madison (WI) is encouraged to join the citywide drumming session from their front door from 8-9 pm to top off MMD.
Musical Pontoon Parade – The festivities in Land O’ Lakes (WI) will feature a special evening musical pontoon parade and sing-a-long on Black Oak Lake Beach, where spectators in their cars can watch and listen to the music emanating from the boats.
Make Music Day at the Range – In Las Cruces (NM), the local organizers are partnering with The Range Las Cruces to livestream local bands and other socially distanced, professional recordings in their isolation booths and meeting space.
Porch Fest – People will perform from the front of their homes in Fullerton (CA) so neighbors can enjoy while social distancing.
All Make Music Day events are free and open to the public. Participants who wish to perform, or to host musical events, may register at MakeMusicDay.org. A full schedule of in-person and virtual events is available on the website.
Official hashtag: #MakeMusicDay
About Make Music Day
Held annually on June 21, Make Music Day is part of the international Fête de la Musique, taking place in over 1,000 cities across 120 countries. The daylong, musical free-for-all celebrates music in all its forms, encouraging people to band together and play in free public concerts. Over 85 U.S. cities and the entire states of Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii and Wisconsin are participating in this year’s celebration, which is going virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. Make Music Day is presented by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the non-profit Make Music Alliance. For more information, please visit www.makemusicday.org