Uncommon Instruments

Make Music Day

Discover new and innovative ways to make music!

Thanks to partnerships with several leading companies, people across the country (and around the world) will expand their musical horizons on June 21.

Cohere Touch

Make Music Day participants from all over the world are invited to join a remote performance of Trevor New’s Cohere Touch, developed through the American Composers Orchestra’s EarShot CoLABoratory program and presented by Make Music Day.

This is a large-scale, remote composition for near unlimited numbers of players connected over a Zoom videoconference, offering an exciting opportunity for global collaboration and creativity in real time, under the direction of composer Trevor New. As performers play, other participants on Zoom can use hand and body movements that impact the music and create on-screen animations.

On June 21, Trevor will be on Zoom from 10:00am until 7:00pm, with a main performance at 2:00pm (all times EDT – New York). RSVP below to join or listen to the performance, or just stop in throughout the day to play with the software and explore the creative potential of the work. 

Click here to see some of the possibilities of this piece.

Makey Makey

Makey Makey joined Make Music Day for the second time in 2023. Using this circuit board, plugged into a computer, performers of all levels will turn everyday objects (like bananas) 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.

DeForest, WI

Steaming Into Wednesday

Location: DeForest Area Public Library, 203 Library St, DeForest, WI 53532

Time: 03:00 – 06:00 pm

Leader: Emily Henneman Hinz

Email: emilyh@deforestlibrary.org

Madison, WI

Making Music with Makey Makey

Location: Madison Children’s Museum, 100 N Hamilton St, Madison, WI 53703

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Leader: 17.2m (aka Scott Fradkin)

Email: info@makemusicmadison.org

Jumbie Jam

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 around the country in participatory events and “petting zoos” for Make Music Day thanks to Panyard’s Jumbie Jams, an entry level steel pan designed to be easily playable by anyone.

Atlanta, GA

Jumbie Jam in the West End

Location: TBD

Time: TBD

Email: atlanta@makemusicday.org

Chicago, IL

Steel Pan Beginners Jam

Location: TBD

Time: TBD

Email: mvaldes@classicalmusicchicago.org

Fair Lawn, NJ

Location: TBD

Time: TBD

Email: art@fairlawn.org

Fairfield, CT

Drum circle with Jim LoPresti

Location: Fairfield Gazebo

Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Leader: Jim LoPresti

Email: fairfield@makemusicday.org

Kansas City, MO

Jumbie Jam at Union Station

Location: Union Station

Time: TBD

Email: nancy@rcwilliamsco.com

Marshfield, WI

“Funky Instruments” at Wenzel Family Plaza

Location: Wenzel Family Plaza

Time: TBD

Email: ediesmazal@chestnutarts.org

Philadelphia, PA

Musical Instrument Petting Zoo

Location: Fairfield Gazebo

Time: TBD

Email: Joann@KeepMusicAlive.org

Ridgefield CT

Drum Circle and Drumming at Town Hall

Location: Town Hall

Time: TBD

Email: jenniferdineen06877@gmail.com

Salem, OR

Percussion Alley

Location: TBD

Time: TBD

Email: salem@makemusicday.org

Sun Prairie, WI

Steel Pan and Percussion Workshop

Location: TBD

Time: TBD

Leader: Boys and Girls Club staff

Email: awatkins@bgcdc.org

York County, PA

Drum Circle with Weary Arts

Location: Downtown Square

Time: 12:00 – 07:00 pm

Email: Rita@culturalyork.org

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