Make Music Day

June 2, 2023

Make Music Partners of the Week: Hohner and RBI

Mass Appeal would not be the same without two of our longstanding partners, Hohner and Rhythm Band Instruments (RBI).

Hohner, the world’s leading harmonica brand, is providing over 2,000 free harmonicas to 40 U.S. cities for Make Music Day, allowing countless first-time players to start developing the skills to make music throughout the year. This is the 11th straight year of Hohner’s generous involvement in Make Music Day.

Meanwhile, Rhythm Band Instruments, makers of the pitched hollow plastic tubes called Boomwhackers®, is donating percussion kits to 31 cities for participatory Mass Appeal events – over 1,100 instruments in all, with a variety of Boomwhackers, egg shakers, and rhythm sticks to make music accessible to everyone.

Thank you to Hohner and to RBI!

June 2, 2023

Mass Appeals in 56 Cities

Do you want to play for Make Music Day, but your bandmate is out of town that day? (Or maybe you don’t have a band in the first place?)

Not to worry – in 56 cities around the United States, 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 103 Mass Appeals to get a free Hohner harmonica and join a harmonica band, pick up a pair of Vic Firth drumsticks and start bucket drumming, use RBI percussion instruments at a drum circle, or strum along on a ukulele or guitar. It couldn’t be simpler.

Full Mass Appeal listings

May 28, 2023

Countdown to MMD 2023: Scale Challenge Week 8

If you’ve made it this far through the scale challenge, that is great work. I hope you’re already enjoying the benefits of greater flexibility in playing and in thinking, and perhaps a deeper understanding of scales and how they function. You may also have noticed areas where you want to focus your practice, as they are not as strong as other areas, and hopefully you’ve developed a greater commitment to practice in general.

This week we are working on Gb (or F#) major; apply all of the same ideas as in the previous weeks, play through all of the previous scales at least once per day, and see if you can memorize all of them (if you haven’t already done so). Think about how each one sounds, where it sits on your instrument, how you relate to the notes in each scale. Enjoy the work, we are almost there!

See you next week for the next key, and remember to tag us if you’re joining in this challenge, #makemusicpractice

May 26, 2023

Make Music City of the Week: Frisco

Make Music Day is growing across Texas this year, with the established Houston and Laredo events now joined by Corsicana, Round Rock, Waxahachie… and this week’s Make Music City of the Week, Frisco!

For the inaugural Make Music Frisco, you can join a kazoo parade around the water park at the Frisco Athletic Center, take a harmonica lesson at the Heritage Museum, learn to play Flowerpot Music at The Harvest at Frisco Commons, or catch Russell Stoneback’s experimental “light guitar” that uses light like sound to create music in the Frisco Discovery Center’s Black Box Theater. Not to mention pop up singer-songwriter performances all over town!

Visit the Make Music Frisco website

May 26, 2023

Make Music Partner of the Week: Makey Makey

Makey Makey joins Make Music Day for the second time in 2023. Using this circuit board, plugged into a computer, performers of all levels can turn everyday objects (like brat and cheese) into touchpads and use them to make music.

This year, Makey Makey will supply kits to selected Make Music Day chapters, and work with them closely to devise new, fun ways to incorporate this technology into collaborative music making and learning through play. Thank you, Makey Makey!

See some inspiring Makey Makey projects from Make Music Day 2022

May 26, 2023

Make Music, Make Friends

In a new global collaboration, Make Music, Make Friends is connecting school children aged 7-13 from Australia, China, India, Italy, Pakistan, Thailand, the U.K., and the U.S. on Make Music Day this year.

Ten classes from each country, coordinated by the Make Music Alliance and Make Music Day UK, are creating musical greeting videos (with traditional or modern songs), sharing them with schools from other countries, and having their students watch these musical messages on June 21.

Through this virtual exchange, Make Music, Make Friends exposes children to different regions and cultures, while providing an authentic audience for their own performance.

Read more

May 20, 2023

Make Music City of the Week: Boston

For the first time since the pandemic, Make Music Boston is back!

Under the new leadership of the Boston Music Project, Make Music Boston will feature an “ultimate jam session” outside of eight food trucks at the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a found sound beatmaking battle, a summer solstice festival with the Boston BID, and countless other creative events for and by the huge community of Boston musicians.

Visit the Make Music Boston website

May 20, 2023

Make Music Partner of the Week: Panyard

Steelpans are the only family of chromatic, acoustic instruments developed in the last century. Invented in Trinidad around the Second World War, they are traditionally handmade from oil drums, and hand-tuned by a small number of master pan tuners.

Although historically hard to come by, steelpans will be found in 11 cities around the U.S. in participatory events for Make Music Day 2023, thanks to Panyard’s Jumbie Jams, an entry level steel pan designed to be easily playable by anyone.

Many thanks to Panyard!

May 20, 2023

Roomfuls of Pianos!

Roomful of Pianos has become a highly anticipated event at The NAMM Show in Anaheim CA, bringing spectacular performances of music arranged for 10 pianos, 20 pianos, or even 40 pianos to the show’s international audience of music industry attendees.

This year, Roomful of Pianos comes to Make Music Day, with piano showrooms and music schools hosting colossal piano events around the U.S. on June 21. Among other pieces, repertoire will include free, multiple piano arrangements generously donated by Virtual Sheet Music.

Email us if you want to organize your own Roomful of Pianos event on June 21!

More details here

May 16, 2023

Countdown to MMD 2023: Week 7

I’m sure by now many of you already have figured out the order in which we are going through the keys, and if so, maybe you’re even working ahead of schedule! We are so close to finishing, so please try to be extra diligent in your practice, work on focusing attention on all aspects of playing, and this 12 week practice will have an enormous beneficial effect on your musicianship.

This week, while playing the new key and all of the previous ones, let’s focus our attention on how each note begins; observe what is happening, and then ask yourself if there is a way to polish and refine the beginnings of your notes, to play them as mindfully as possible. See what change this brings about in the sound of your scales.

Have fun! You’re doing great work. See you next week for the next key, and remember to tag us if you’re joining in this challenge, #makemusicpractice