Make Music Day

June 13, 2023

Countdown to MMD, scale # 10, D major

As planned, the last few scales should be relatively easy, compared to some of the rest that have gone before—the hard part of this challenge is over, in content as well as quantity, and you should be able to enjoy these last few keys and the ease with which you can think and play them.

Once again, work through this scale slowly and thoughtfully, and see how quickly you can memorize it and feel at ease with it. Consider playing this scale in thirds and fourths if it feels very easy to you, to maintain a level of challenge for yourself in your practice.

Remember to tag us if you’re following along!  #makemusicpractice

June 13, 2023

Countdown to MMD, scale #9: E major

As we enter the final third of our adventure in all 12 keys, things should be getting easier and feeling more natural to you. Continue to play each of the previous scales at least once every day, and take note of any inconsistencies that present themselves when moving from one key to another. Work to smooth out any unevenness, and as always pay attention to tone and articulation as you play.

See you in D Major! Don’t forget to tag us while you’re practicing,  #makemusicpractice

June 8, 2023

Make Music Town of the Week: Fairfield

This week we feature Fairfield, Connecticut, an exceptional Make Music chapter, and one of fourteen supported by the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

For Fairfield’s 6th annual celebration, this community of 60,000 has scheduled more than 70 performances all over town: at Jennings Beach, beside the bank of the Mill River, from the deck of the beautiful yawl PEARL (pictured above) in Southport Harbor, on the Pequot Library steps, at Greenfield Hill Commons, and multiple spots downtown.

Come listen to an electric harp, a woodwind quintet, traditional Irish music, participate in a drum circle, and check out the latest pop, folk, rock and funk groups!

Visit their website

June 8, 2023

Make Music Partners of the Week: Alfred Music and D’Addario

Alfred Music and D’Addario, partners on the new String Together program, are no strangers to Make Music Day.

Since 2015, Alfred has provided thousands of free ukulele and guitar books for June 21st events from coast to coast. Their mission, like that of Make Music Day itself, is to get the world to learn music, to teach music, and to play music.

D’Addario, another longstanding partner, has donated Promark drumsticks for bucket drumming sessions in some years, and provided Venn reeds for Sousapalooza players in others. String Together is the first time they have joined Make Music Day with their guitar strings, the original specialty of the D’Addario family since the 1680s.

Thank you to Alfred and D’Addario!

June 8, 2023

New for Make Music Day: String Together!

One of the best and easiest ways to improve the sound of your guitar is putting on a fresh set of strings.

Come to one of the 22 participating String Together guitar shops on Make Music Day, and attend a free string changing session that comes with a free set of acoustic guitar strings from D’Addario. All are welcome, from complete newbies who have never changed their strings, to more experienced players looking for a few tips from a pro guitar tech.

Plus, the first 20 participants at each store will also receive a free guitar chord chart from Alfred Music, and a free guitar lesson from a local teacher!

Find one near you and reserve your spot!

June 2, 2023

Make Music State of the Week: Alabama

For the first time ever, five Alabama cities – Decatur, Florence, Gadsden, Gulf Shores, and Huntsville – are joining Make Music Day this year!

Lots of Make Music Alabama events are geared towards children, from a found object guitar building workshop in Gadsden, to youth percussion classes in Decatur. But like any Make Music Day, there is truly something for everyone. Huntsville will feature a 10-piece jazz band at their library, and Gulf Shores will give away egg shakers and tambourines in Meyer Park, for the public to use to accompany Grammy-nominated songwriter Rhonda Hart and Smokey Otis.

We welcome Alabama into the Make Music community, and thank the Alabama Arts Alliance for helping coordinate the state!

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