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Mass Appeals Nationwide

Did June sneak up on you, and you're still not sure of your Make Music Day plans?

Not to worry – in 66 cities around the country, Mass Appeal events are taking place on June 21. Not quite music lessons, not quite jam sessions, Mass Appeals are a special kind of musical happening of their own. And anyone can take part – in many cases, you don’t even need to bring an instrument!

Just show up to one of these 129 Mass Appeals to get a free Hohner harmonica and join a harmonica band, pick up a pair of Promark drumsticks and start bucket drumming, use RBI percussion instruments at a drum circle, or strum along on the ukulele. It couldn't be simpler!

Or venture further off the beaten path, and join one of the 26 Flowerpot Music events (with free mallets from Vic Firth), 13 interactive Makey Makey events, 28 Jumbie Jam events for steelpans, or 8 Sousapaloozas (with free reeds for sax and clarinet players from D'Addario).

Happy Make Music Day!

Partner of the Week: Alfred Music

Speaking of Mass Appeals, this week we give special thanks to Alfred Music, a longstanding Make Music Day partner celebrating its 100th year in business.

Alfred is providing free copies of the book “It’s Ukulele Time” at dozens of Mass Appeal Ukulele events, giving everyone an excellent introduction to the instrument, and a set of classic songs to play together.

Check out the 27 Alfred ukulele events here!

More Ukulele Highlights

Now that in-person events have returned, the convivial sounds of ukuleles are floating through the air once again for Make Music Day, and not just at Mass Appeals.

Flight Ukuleles is getting its artists involved this year around the world. In San Isidro Peru, Mariana Galbani will host a play-along ukulele concert with popular French songs to honor the 40th anniversary of the Fête de la Musique, while Victoria Kolasinski joins the #MakeMusicDayChallenge with her ukulele version of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World."

And naturally, the Make Music Hawaii schedule is brimming with ukulele events, too!

Make Music City of the Week: Mexico

We are thrilled to announce that Mexico City, the largest city in the Western Hemisphere, is starting it's own Make Music Day chapter this year!

Organized by the musical instruments distributor Gonher, in partnership with the local city government, the first Make Music Mexico will include five large venues with 25 performing groups, ranging from youth symphonies to rock bands.

Learn more on their website and Instagram page.

National Music Council: Guided by the 5 Music Rights, Working Toward a Better Future For Music

Interview with Dr David Sanders, Director of the National Music Council, conducted by the Make Music Alliance in May 2022.

When was the National Music Council formed?

The NMC came together in the 1940s because of the need for having a conversation with industry, government, education stakeholders and what that all means. There was a big movement worldwide about having music councils everywhere, and the International Music Council was formed around that time as well, and then in 1956 is when the NMC became congressionally chartered to be the official representative to the International Music Council from the United States. 

What is the mission of the NMC?

We focus on the 5 Musical Rights:

The Right For All Children and Adults

1. To express themselves musically in all freedom

2. To learn musical languages and skills

3. To have access to musical involvement through participation, listening, creation and information.

The Right For All Musical Artists

4. To develop their artistry and communicate through all media, with proper facilities at their disposal.

5. To obtain just recognition and fair remuneration for their work. 

Those 5 rights are our core driving components; how do we make sure that people have access and are able to learn the musical language and skills, and how do we make sure they have access to participating and creating, and all those kinds of things. Also we want to make sure we balance that with making sure that people who create music have the opportunity to continue to do that in a free environment, and also have the ability to make livelihoods off of what they do, and trying to balance that out. That allows us to have really interesting conversations at the convergence of where music is created, where music is used, where music is taught, and the governmental areas where music is regulated. We also work with UNESCO to help protect and preserve our musical heritage.

The past two years have been devastating for performing artists, music students and listeners; how are you responding to this and moving forward?

We want to work on educating people on the good work that has been done; we have a lot of members in the Music Council, all of whom have a similar yet different approach to what they want to do, which in my opinion makes for a very strong organization, because we get a better product through discussion. One thing the National Music Council does very well is it fosters those kinds of high level conversations across a very broad sector of music, from creators to educators to users. With the pandemic, we saw a contraction of everything which was really difficult. We didn’t have access to school based music programs because for a good chunk of time all the schools in the country were shut down, and then as they opened back up there were fears—not all necessarily legitimate—about what music would do in spreading the virus, and then on the creators and performers side it was really hard. No concert venues were open, people weren’t allowed to go out, it was just a really difficult time. We had a great symposium back in March that really focused on what did happen and where are we going from those moments, and I think that really allowed us to have that “turning the corner” conversation. We all knew something had happened, and we have talked ad nauseam about what had occurred, and now it’s a matter of, in the Music Council area, can we have these discussions to make sure we are ready if we have another pandemic? That’s why the National Music Council was a big supporter of the  international aerosol study, and then also how do we make sure that we are protecting everybody if something like this happens again, and then using what have we learned collectively to do better than what we were doing pre pandemic. 

Music For All: A Vision To Ensure That Every Child In America Has Access to Music Making

Interview with Dr Jeremy Earnhart, President and CEO of Music For All, conducted by the Make Music Alliance in May 2022.  

Can you tell me about the beginnings of Music For All?

We started off as a marching band camp, as a for-profit company in 1975, and broke off into Bands Of America as a nonprofit a few years later. We began our national concert festival in 1992, creating a non competitive festival atmosphere with some of the icons of the industry; everyone from H Robert Reynolds to Bill Revelli, a storied name in the band world.

What is your primary mission as an organization?

In our 46th year, our mission is to create, provide and expand positively life changing experiences; we have a vision to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to active music making in their scholastic environment. Essentially, we are a nonprofit scholastic music education advocacy and events organization, dedicated to building leaders, celebrating teaching and the art of excellence.

What are your major projects?

The Bands of America Marching Band Championship series, the Music For All Summer Symposium/ Summer Camp, and the Music For All National Festival, as well as the Bands of America Honor Band and the Rose Parade, comprise our anchor programming. Additionally, we have a newly minted program over the last four years called Advocacy in Action, which is designed to collect and share great advocacy methods at the local level, and that is all free. In fact, during the pandemic, we were forced to pivot from a music education events company to a music education institution, where events are part of what we do, and we have started an entire online and digital space on our education site and created programming that was asked for at the time during the pandemic, because we are not the type of organization that says “here’s what you should do”, we listen and ask and we try to respond and we always try to say yes, and two of the main programming modules that have come out of the pandemic, one is called “Mind The Gap” that is designed originally for student teachers whose student teaching experience was interrupted by covid, about what they needed to know to get into the classroom the next year, and then two is called “Teaching Music Through Social and Emotional Learning”, and Dr Scott Edgar is our clinician for that. There are hundreds of hours of online content that are free and available on our website, in fact some school districts use that to supplement their professional learning.
In additional to the national festival, we have 24 regional festivals that are run on the same model as the national one, a non competitive environment where the students are performing for each other, unlike many state festivals that happen during the day and bands don’t have an audience, we have a required audience participation time, so that everybody is able to experience the reward that comes from their live performance.

What are your plans for the immediate future?

Since the pandemic many events were put on hold, and we are working to gradually get everything back up and running again over the next year. In a normal year, we service 150,000 students with a live audience of over 500,000 and we are working to get back to that level, re-activating all of our programs and building on the work we have done in the past, providing positively life-changing experiences to students, teachers and parents across America.

Faire la fête: 40 years of making music!

In the 40 years since it began on June 21, 1982, France’s Fête de la Musique has become one of the country’s most important cultural events, with millions taking to the streets to make music on the first day of summer. Ever since, countless other countries have been inspired to do the same.

To honor the Fête’s 40th anniversary and its French origins, the Make Music Alliance announces a special international series called Faire la Fête – 40 free concerts in 40 countries on June 21 featuring the music of French songwriters and composers.

Among the dozens of Faire la Fête events already announced, the grandest is in New York, where more than 100 American musicians will perform French music at seven outdoor locations at Liberty Island, Ellis Island, and The Battery, all within view of the Statue of Liberty (another great example of French-American cultural exchange)!

Check out the New York program here, along with the full Faire la Fête website!

Create your own Make Music Poster

Sample social media poster of "Make Music At The Lake"
Just a reminder that you can create your very own Make Music Day poster for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and let everyone know your June 21 plans!

Share your posters on social media using the hashtag #MakeMusicDay and don't forget to tag @makemusicday so we can repost! You'll also find lots of pre-made marketing materials in our Media Resources section, to make it as easy as possible to get the word out.

And if you can't wait until June 21, take part in our social media challenge! Use #MakeMusicDayChallenge and play the song that best represents what music means to you.

Make Music Partner of the Week: Hohner

Make Music partner Hohner has long been a leader in the harmonica field.

In 2022, for the tenth straight year, Hohner is generously providing thousands of free harmonicas going to over 40 harmonica events around the country for Make Music Day, allowing countless first-time players to start developing the skills to make music throughout the year. (This is part of Make Music Day's "Mass Appeal" initiative… more on that later.)

Thank you to Hohner for this incredible gift!

Make Music City of the Week: Yonkers

The third-largest city in New York State, is getting into the Make Music Day spirit!

After a pilot program in 2021, Yonkers NY is coming back strong on June 21, 2022 with a full 18-piece big band, specializing in Count Basie arrangements, a 13-piece "Funk Shui" ensemble, the Carlos Jimenez Mambo Quintet, and many participatory events, all spearheaded by the Yonkers Public Library and partners around the city.

Website: Make Music Yonkers