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Winter is here! Make Music on Monday

Make Music Winter is almost here, with ten new cities joining to provide a musical winter solstice on Monday, December 21!

Check out the full schedule at to find new Window Serenades for isolated elderly people in Ventura County CA and Elk Grove CA, a “Soul Food Christmas” performance in Denver CO, a pop up holiday performance in Bellevue TN, and 30+ more socially-distanced and virtual events around the country to ring in the season.

Just visit makemusicwinter.org, and then join a music-making event near you!

Make Music Winter on December 21!

We are delighted to announce this year’s national schedule of 30+ free, participatory, and socially-distanced music events on the winter solstice, Monday, December 21!

Make Music Winter‘s outdoor celebrations, with participants spread out at a safe distance, are among the rare in-person events still viable this holiday season. Highlights include a world premiere choral sound installation at the New York Botanical Garden in New York, NY; musical processions in Montclair, NJ; a tractor-led musical parade in Columbia, SC; and sleigh bell and hand bell events in Land O’ Lakes, WI and Chequamegon Bay, WI.

Around the country, musicians will also share the joy of live music with isolated older adults through Window Serenades in Boston, MA, Hartford, CT, Milwaukee, WI, and Ossining, NY, bringing solo artists or small groups to play outside nursing home windows for those who request a song.

And in the virtual realm, musicians will stream a citywide performances of “Jingle Bells” in El Paso TX, perform a collaborative songwriter showcase in Portland, ME and Santa Fe, NM, enter music video contests in Hawai’i, and perform Beethoven piano sonatas in New York, NY.

Look for all of these, and many more, at makemusicwinter.org.

And then join a music-making event near you!

Winter Window Serenades

Window Serenades share the joy of live music with isolated elderly people, bringing solo musicians or small groups to play outside nursing home windows for those who request a song.

Created to provide safe, socially distanced performances for Make Music Day on June 21, Window Serenades are just as relevant for Make Music Winter, reaching those who are away from their families during the darkest days of the year.

We have created a new Window Serenades Handbook (pdf) to help plan a serenade near you. It’s an easy and enormously gratifying project.

Download the handbook and register your event here!

Citizens Band Radio

Photo: CenterPoint Arts

Your ensemble can be the talk of the town for Make Music Winter in a new project called Citizens Band Radio.

On December 21, each member of your band will ride shotgun in a slow procession of cars, listening to a local community radio station, sheet music taped to the dashboard. At the appointed time, the station will broadcast a piece from your band’s repertoire. Using the radio as a click track, band members will stick their horns, tambourines, amps, and other instruments out the car windows and give an unforgettable, synchronized performance for people on the street or stuck in traffic.

If you and your band are interested, we will help you make this happen. (You can also organize Citizens Band Radio events for musicians on boats, or playing from neighboring rooftops or balconies.)

Fill out this form and we will be in touch right away!

STARTING TONIGHT: Lift Every Vote!


Tonight, October 3rd, a new grassroots musical initiative called Lift Every Vote will launch across the country and will continue daily at sunset through Election Day, November 3rd.

Setting up on their doorsteps, out their windows, in a park or on a street corner, performers of all stripes will provide a daily inspiring reminder to get out the vote. We want you to participate!

The challenge is simple:

  • PLAN a performance around sunset: Get your instrument, your band, your poem, your dance, your creativity READY!
  • PICK your location: outdoors is best — but remember, mask-up and social distance; choose anywhere you feel comfortable.
  • PERFORM: Play as if our lives depend on it!
  • MOBILIZE: Encourage your audience to plan their vote.
  • NOMINATE: Share your performance using #lifteveryvote. Tag your peers, friends, noise makers to do the same – and keep the challenge moving!

More information at LiftEveryVote2020.com.

Now Playing: This American Song


A restaurant owner in Missouri, a Marine reservist in Maine, and an orchard farmer in Massachusetts.

A college student in New Hampshire, a physical therapist in North Dakota, and a preschool teacher in New York.

For Make Music Day 2020, each of them – and 44 more, one from each state – chatted with a professional songwriter on June 21. That evening, over a second video chat, they experienced a live, private performance of a new song written that day, just for them, based on their stories.

Today we are proud to share the videos of all 50 of these intimate performances.

Browse through This American Song to travel to each state, hearing love stories, family tragedies, political awakenings, career choices, the joys of dog ownership, and everything else on people’s minds in this remarkable year, transformed into song.

This American Song – YouTube Playlist

Create your own free, participatory Make Music Winter event!

  • 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 five popular Make Music Winter projects. Take these ideas and run with them in your own city, or use them as inspiration for something new!

Make Music Winter returns!

The winter counterpart to Make Music Day is back on Monday, December 21!

Make Music Winter is a series of free, outdoor musical parades, taking place last year in 40 U.S. cities. People of all ages, musical abilities, and backgrounds meet up to promenade and play participatory music for bells, electric guitars, percussion, and more.

It’s a joyful (and socially-distanced) way to ring in the longest night of the year, and celebrate the end of 2020.

Make Music Day – thank you!

Congratulations to all who took part in Make Music Day – whether at home or in public, virtually or physically, alone or together! More than 1,500 music-making events were shared in the U.S. on June 21, along with performances by thousands of musicians in 120 countries around the world who celebrated the day.

One highlight of this unusual year was a surge of virtual collaborations between musicians who had never before met, but who came together on Make Music Day to create something beautiful. Explore their tracks and videos at the links for Bedroom Studios, #MySongIsYourSong, Track Meet, and Young Composers Contest.

And check out the footage from our international livestream on June 21st, with 12 hours of live performances from Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the U.K., U.S., and many more.

Finally, mark your calendar for Make Music Winter on Monday, December 21, 2020!

Thank you to our national sponsors!

We’d 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.

Thank you and have a wonderful summer!