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How to Make Music on June 21

Make Music Day hashtagWhat are you waiting for? Just make music! Use our poster generator to promote your event (whether live or virtual), and use the hashtag #makemusicday when you share it. On June 21, pull out your instrument and start playing. Piece of cake.

Or join a participatory project where you can just bring your instrument – or yourself – and join in! Take a free live music lesson, play a song Live From Home, contribute to a Bedroom Studio, sing in the Heart Chant, or join one of this year’s many other featured national projects.

Just want to listen? Check out the schedule of events from around the country, and tune in to the Global Livestream all day on June 21 to experience Make Music Day from around the world, along with the #MySongIsYourSong performances.

(If your hometown is already a Make Music city, you’re in luck! Click on your city’s website to register with them, and see what else is happening near you.)

The Heart Chant

Heart Chant in Chicago, photo by Phillip SolomonsonThe Heart Chant is a participatory “Deep Listening” meditation by composer Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) that offers sonic healing for all beings through listening and vocalization.

Last year, nearly a dozen Heart Chants took place on three continents for Make Music Day. This year, people everywhere are invited to join in a virtual Heart Chant over Zoom, hosted by IONE, Music on the Rebound, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble. The simple instructions invite anyone and everyone to participate – no musical training is required!

Click here to register, then tune in live at 5pm ET on Sunday from your phone or computer to be a part of a uniquely powerful collective healing.

Harman and Audio Matters

Harman's Audio Matters podcastHarman has been a crucial supporter of Make Music Day for the last five years, part of their unwavering commitment to music and music education. We thank Harman deeply for their incredible partnership.

This morning, Harman released a special episode of their Audio Matters podcast about Make Music Day, interviewing Aaron Friedman (Make Music Alliance) and Lee Whitmore (GRAMMY Music Education Coalition) about what the day is all about, and how it promotes music education.

And just in time for Make Music Day, Harman also just released a consumer study of the impact music is having right now, during the last few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check it out here!

This American Song

We are excited to announce a new, late-breaking Make Music Day initiative called This American Song, capturing the stories and experiences of ordinary people from around the country at this unprecedented time.

Working through our local chapters, and in partnership with the Nashville Songwriters Association International, the Make Music Alliance has lined up fifty people of all ages with a story to tell, one in each of the 50 States, along with fifty professional songwriters in a variety of styles.

On the morning of June 21, each songwriter will video chat with one interviewee for an hour. In the afternoon, they will write a song inspired by their conversation. And that evening, they will do a second video chat with the person and give a live, private performance of the song they’ve just written.

After Make Music Day, videos of all fifty songs will be available on our website, opening a window into American lives and showing the power of music to connect us.

Check out the list of songwriters here!

Stone/Water/Time/Breath

Anyone, anywhere, is invited to perform in Make Music Day’s presentation of Stones/Water/Time/Breath by Dean Rosenthal. These experimental music performances, where music is performed with stones at a body of water, will take place outside, in the world. Performances can be done following local and regional guidelines of safe social distancing, either solo or in small groups. All are welcome to perform, wherever they choose, and performances may take place at any point during the hours of June 21st to participate in Make Music Day. Sign-up here!

Note from the Composer:
This year at Make Music Day, I think Stones/Water/Time/Breath plays a special role, considering that it is piece that will always need to be performed outside. In the time of COVID, as we are slowing getting ourselves back into the world safely, we can join in an open, creative experience at any body of water, in small groups or solo performances to reconnect with performance and nature on our own or with a small group of fellow performers. Stones/Water/Time/Breath is very simple music, performed at any body of water with played with stones. Anyone can play and we hope you join us across the country to perform live again in the world and outside our spaces indoors. This year, we will see performances in Los Angeles, Chicago, Martha’s Vineyard, Woodstock and many other locales and we invite you to join us wherever you are!

The score to the performance is as follows:

Site-specific: outside, by the water, any body of water, like: a pond, the ocean, a lake, a stream, a river

Materials: stones. As many or as few as desired. Maybe they are already there.

Performance:

Arrive, set a start time, start.

Use the stones as elements or implements to make percussive sounds on the water.

Play the water with the stones.

Play singly, together, rhythmically, with solos, tuplets, common rhythms, irregular rhythms, cycles, patterns, with no rhythms.

There can be pauses.

No speaking.

When you feel the piece has ended, end the performance.

For any number of performers.
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For a download of the printed score, more information about the piece’s history, and a list of performances and several available videos, please go to www.stonespiece.com

Audio examples of the music can be found on the recording available on Edition Wandelweiser Records and streamed and/or purchased on Bandcamp or through international distributors.

Make Music City of the Week: Philadelphia

Make Music Philly - Black Lives Matter bannerThe Make Music Alliance raises our voice in support of justice for the African American community. This year, we will amplify Make Music Day events and artists who are part of the historic Black Lives Matter movement.

Make Music Philly, returning after a year of hiatus, will dedicate their Make Music Day events in 2020 to this extremely important cause. They encourage all Make Music Philly participants to tag their performances with #BlackLivesMatter and #NotesOfSolidarity, along with links for fans to donate to racial justice causes.

What are you doing to help Black Lives Matter on Make Music Day? Let us know.

Bucket Drumming with Vic Firth

Children drumming on buckets for Make Music Hartford

The Vic Firth Company, setting the standard for percussion since its inception in 1963, is generously supporting bucket drumming workshops across dozens of cities for Make Music Day 2020.

All percussionists who attend – whether in person or virtually – will be provided with a pair of Vic Firth sticks, and invited to make music together. The events will range from structured classes to free-flowing bucket drumming circles, according to the concept of each local organizer.

The goal is to spread the message that to make music, all you need is a beat in your heart… and a pair of sticks.

Click here to find a bucket drumming workshop near you!

Make Music Artist of the Week: Elliot Cole

Composer Elliot Cole and Flowerpot image

Composer Elliot Cole's music has gone everywhere. It has been performed by Grammy winners Roomful of Teeth, by incarcerated men at New York's Sing Sing Correctional Facility (where he runs a music school), and by over 250 percussion ensembles around the world.

This year for Make Music Day, his music will sing out from an unlikely but beautiful percussion instrument – the flowerpot! In Flowerpot Music, bell-like tones pass from performer to performer in improvised gestures called “blooms” that sweep through the group, made up of non-musicians and musicians alike.

In a special online version of the piece, performances by over two dozen groups will be live-streamed continuously for over 8 hours on June 21. Several performance slots led by Elliot and percussionist Peter Ferry are open to participants anywhere.

Click here for more details on how to join!

25×12: Hundreds of Live Online Lessons

Illustration of a music lesson on the recorder, by Daniel Greenfeld

Make Music Day is the perfect opportunity to shake the dust off your instrument and start playing again, or to pick up an instrument for the first time.

Need a hand? On June 21, over 160 teachers and master musicians will offer free, online group lessons for 25 different instruments over the course of 12 hours (hence the name, 25×12).

You can take a beginning ukulele lesson, apply your piano skills to the pipe organ, improve your musicality on the viola, work on your percussion groove and feel, or explore hundreds of other options, from beginning to advanced, all brilliantly curated by Maggie Gould. Jump around to sample a range of instruments, or binge on your favorite.
Click here to see them all!