Make Music Day 2020 goes virtual

Virtual online music performances, concerts and lessons among the highlights

Make Music Day, the live global music celebration held annually on June 21st, the summer solstice, has announced it’s going virtual due to COVID-19. This year’s celebration encourages all people, of all musical abilities, to celebrate the joy of making music while practicing social distancing. More than 85 U.S. cities and the entire states of Connecticut, Hawaii, Vermont and Wisconsin will participate in Make Music Day 2020, further highlighting the power of music to unite people across cultures, and to comfort, inspire and lift the human spirit.

Completely different than a traditional music festival, Make Music Day celebrates and promotes the natural music maker in all of us, regardless of age, ethnicity, background or skill level. Make Music Day (MMD) is an open invitation for everyone to make, enjoy, perform, teach and learn music on the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. Typically featuring over 5,000 free outdoor music making events in public spaces across the U.S., this year’s celebration is being produced virtually and observing social distancing guidelines.

Launched in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day has become a worldwide phenomenon observed today by hundreds of millions of people in over 1,000 cities spanning 120 countries. Make Music Day is presented in the U.S. by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the non-profit Make Music Alliance.

The Make Music Alliance is organizing an all-day video stream showcasing the rich diversity of music making events globally.

Make Music Day highlights include 12 hours of live online lessons by music teachers from around the world on 25 different instruments, from beginning to advanced levels. The lessons will be available via Zoom Conference.

Participants can record a musical performance from home on MMD, and tag three friends to challenge them to do the same. Among the participating artists are Tower of Power, Chicago Med actor Nick Gehlfuss and trumpeter Herb Alpert.

People will gather online to make music in large, single-instrument groups in what is a unique musical happening. Mass Appeals being offered this year are The Heart Chant, Bucket Drumming and Mass Appeal Harmonicas.

Musicians will join in a global song swap where they’ll learn a song by another artist, and hear theirs covered in return. All performers should use the hashtag #MySongIsYourSong.

Since 2011, “Sousapalooozas” bringing hundreds of brass, wind, and percussion players together to sight-read John Philip Sousa marches have been a MMD favorite. In 2020, in lieu of those large gatherings, brass and wind players will explore the other end of the scale by parading solo through cities and playing band repertoire to people listening from their homes or workplace.

Winning pieces in a national juried contest in which composers ages 13-21 wrote and submitted a short three minute piece for a vocal quartet will be released online after being professionally recorded by the all-star Make Music Quarantet.

All Make Music Day events are free and open to the public. Participants who wish to perform, or to host musical events, may register at MakeMusicDay.org. A full schedule of in-person and virtual events is available on the website.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.