February 20, 2023
Practice Room: Setting Yourself Up For Success
When starting (or re-starting) a practice regimen, dedicating a little time to establishing a space for your work is really helpful. If you are fortunate enough to have a practice room, that is very lucky, and you can really have fun making a personal, creative and inspiring space for yourself to work in, but many of us have to try to fit our music work in and around our other living and working spaces, and it can be difficult to do this in a way that supports focus and minimizes distractions.
Finding a way to visually set aside space is very important, and can encourage more practice to happen, especially if the space is comfortable, inviting, and inspiring. You can create a visual practice space a very small area, using simple tools that are available to anyone, like sheets of paper and sticky notes, or a cork board.
Locate a spot where you will be able to work on your instrument; this might be in a corner of a room, for example. If you don’t have a place that is always available, but rather you have to pack up everything between sessions, then you can use a large piece of cardboard that can sit on your music stand, and add notes and prompts to that. This can be put away as necessary, but while you’re practicing it will fill your field of vision and help to keep your focus.
In this designated area, post notes to yourself with your current objectives for practice, and reminders to yourself of things you are working on. This might be learning a new technique, or a new scale, or reminding you to go back to something you haven’t worked on for some time; it can also be more about encouragement—remember to stay positive and be kind to yourself when you are working on your instrument. Music should be an enjoyable thing, but it is easy to become self critical when one is struggling with a challenging piece of music or technical skill. Most importantly, when someone says something nice and encouraging to you about your playing, write that down, and post it prominently!
As well as writing notes which are very practical things, it is fun and valuable to be as creative as you want to be with your space; think about adding artistic visual prompts to the space as well. Album cover art and concert posters are a very important part of musical identity, so why not find some that you love, that remind you of how you would like to sound, and put these up in your practice space as well. Have fun with it, and if you feel like sharing your space with us we would love to see a photo! You can post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MakeMusicPractice
February 20, 2023
Make Music Day Practice Room
Welcome to the Make Music Day Practice Room!
This is a space where we will discuss various ways to approach music practice, to help you to get the most out of the time you spend with your instrument—and of course to prepare for greatness in Make Music Day performances.
The topics here will be general practice pointers for any instrument, but we encourage you to write to us and submit any questions or concerns that you have about your own practice; this is a space to share information, and help each other to make progress and get even more enjoyment from our music making. Submit your questions or concerns in the comments section, and we will do our best to answer.
Thanks for reading, and happy practicing!
December 13, 2022
Winter is here! Make Music next week
Make Music Winter is just around the corner, with 29 cities joining to create a musical winter solstice on Wednesday, December 21!
Check out the nationwide Resonant Paths and Bell By Bells, cigar box instrument making in Clatsop County OR, daylong music at Union Station in Denver CO, an Appalachian and Zydeco jam in Montclair NJ, music at the "Magic Tree" in Columbia MO, eighteen play-along parades (and more) in New York NY, and so many other live, participatory events to ring in the season.
Just visit makemusicwinter.org, and then join a music-making event near you!
November 21, 2022
Bell By Bell for Make Music Winter
Make Music Winter is just one month away, coming to a city near you on December 21!
Among many other events, our signature Bell by Bell program will return nationwide in 2022, featuring the world premieres of new compositions by Brian Chase (from the Grammy-nominated Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Glenn Kotche (from Wilco).
In eight cities on the winter solstice, an event leader will distribute dozens of color-coded diatonic bells to the crowd, one color per note. At the front of the group, a team of conductors will wave corresponding colored flags to lead the group in slowly moving music by the composers, creating a sonorous, atmospheric soundscape. Anyone and everyone can join this magical winter experience.
Find your nearest Make Music Winter event here. (And if you're planning your own free, participatory event on December 21, let us know.)
November 1, 2022
A Sneak Peek at Make Music Winter
Make Music Winter is just seven weeks away!
Among the dozens of projects in the works for Wednesday, December 21st, we are especially excited to present The Resonant Path in six cities this year. This initiative will ring in the winter solstice with a series of gongs spaced out along a walking path, played continuously by percussionists over the course of an hour and creating waves of sound as the audience walks past.
We will make a nationwide Make Music Winter announcement on November 8th, and it's not too late to add your own participatory event to the program! Just fill out this form if you are interested and we will get in touch right away.
September 19, 2022
Announcing Make Music Winter 2022!
Photo © 2021 Andrew D. Marks
The winter counterpart to Make Music Day returns on Wednesday, December 21!
Make Music Winter is a series of free, outdoor musical parades, taking place last year in 30+ U.S. cities. People of all ages, musical abilities, and backgrounds meet up to promenade and play participatory music for bells, electric guitars, voices, rewired children’s toys, and more.
It’s a joyful way to ring in the longest night of the year, and celebrate the end of 2022.
- If you’re interested in leading an event for Make Music Winter on December 21, just fill out this form. We will get back to you right away.
- For more ideas of what Make Music Winter can look like, visit makemusicwinter.org for photos, videos, and press coverage from prior years.
- Check out our handbooks for six popular Make Music Winter projects. Take these ideas and run with them in your own city, or use them as inspiration for something new!
September 19, 2022
A Look Back: MPTF on June 21
For the 8th straight year, the Music Performance Trust Fund supported dozens of special initiatives for Make Music Day in the U.S. on June 21, from flute choirs to Latin music sing-alongs, giving professional musicians the chance to mentor up-and-coming players while providing a high-quality concert to the public.
We thank the MPTF for supporting so much music, and send our congratulations on their upcoming 75th Anniversary celebration! Visit their website to learn more.
June 24, 2022
Thank you to our national sponsors!
We'd also like to give another shout-out to our national Make Music Day partners this year, with special thanks to the NAMM Foundation, without whom our work would not be possible.
June 24, 2022
Right Now: Sweetwater’s GearFest
If you've been inspired by Make Music Day to upgrade your gear and start making more music, our friends at Sweetwater Sound are hosting their annual GearFest today and tomorrow, at Sweetwater.com — check it out!
Since 2016, Sweetwater has been a crucial supporter and sponsor for Make Music Day, spreading the word to customers and even organizing Make Music Fort Wayne for several years. The company is renowned among musicians not only for great deals on music gear, but for being remarkably hands-on and personable.
Thank you to Sweetwater for helping to build a community of music makers!
June 24, 2022
Make Music Day – thank you!
Congratulations to all who took part in Tuesday's Make Music Day!
More than 3,000 music-making events took place in the U.S. on June 21, along with performances by thousands more musicians in 120 countries around the world who celebrated the day.
- Check out 134 press clips about Make Music Day 2022, from media outlets in 60 U.S. cities, to learn about events you may have missed!
- Congratulations to the winner of this year's Young Composers Contest, Matthias Bergmann of Austria! A recording of his piece has been recorded by The Swingles and posted on our site.
- Great videos are coming in from #MySongIsYourSong partners, with a few dozen already posted here.
- And the Global Live Stream is available for replay, with performances from Australia, Germany, UK, India, the US, and more!