Banding together, the music industry placed the power of making music in to the hands of people worldwide on Make Music Day, June 21. This year Make Music Day took a major step forward with a significant increase in the number of national events and participating communities. More than 2,400 free, musical events took place in the U.S. on the first day of summer. The NAMM Foundation empowered NAMM members and partners to create dozens of music-making events for musicians of every skill level in 35 communities.
Despite weather reports predicting storms, the sun shined on 1,200 music-making events in New York City, with San Diego, Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, Madison, Nashville, Seattle, Chicago, Syracuse, Fort Wayne, and Columbia among dozens of other communities that hosted music lessons, workshops, and Mass Appeal play-alongs.
The NAMM Foundation’s Mass Appeal events rallied musicians of all abilities to play in single-instrument jam sessions. Alfred Music, Guitar World, Hal Leonard Corporation, Hohner, Kala Brand Music Company, Making Music, Remo Inc., Moog Music Inc., littleBits, Yamaha Corp., Buffet Group, D’Addario, Zildjian and NAMM-partner industry groups including PMC and GAMA created or sponsored major hands-on music events.
Events that started in New York City, including a karaoke piano bar, Mass Appeal events and street-side guitar lessons went nationwide in 2015. Yamaha-sponsored roving Clavinova karaoke trucks hit the road in New York City, Seattle and Chicago offering people the chance to sing along to Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits at classic Rat Pack landmarks. Hohner, an early Make Music Day participant, expanded their Mass Appeal events by generously donating instruments to a record number of 17 harmonica gatherings this year. Alfred Music and Kala Brand Music provided sheet music, instruments and on-the-ground support for 28 ukulele gatherings, many held in NAMM member stores, an increase over their impressive inaugural effort in 2014.
Hal Leonard Corporation and Guitar World teamed up for a second year in a row to provide music books at guitar Mass Appeal events, including a gathering of hundreds in New York City’s Union Square. “Every company in the Music Industry business has an obligation to cultivate the next generation of players,” said Brad Smith, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager at Hal Leonard Corporation. "Make Music Day is one of our opportunities to deliver the spark and throw a wide net. Our dealers are part of the community fabric and are the ones to deliver the message - and then together we support the needs of our new musicians. We can all agree that life is more enriched when you participate in making music."
Both Sweetwater Sound Inc. based in Fort Wayne, IN and Rice Music House in Columbia, SC have been involved in Make Music Day for a couple of years, but this year both companies decided to lead community-wide Make Music Day events. Columbia's mayor officially proclaimed June 21 as Make Music Day, which according to Jyotindra M. Parekh, Owner of Rice Music House brought an atmosphere of “hope, love and peace” to the community.
"Rice Music House is proud to be a part of the Make Music Day celebration, because we believe that music is a universal language, it breaks all barriers of race, color, religion, sex and brings together families, friends, communities, towns, nations and the world,” said Parekh. “Make Music Day has created a great buzz in Columbia, SC and we have parents, teachers, students and musicians all joining together to make music."
Sweetwater Sound Inc. made a downtown park in Fort Wayne, IN a music-making hub that featured 18 bands, a ukulele strum-along, hands-on hammer dulcimer experience, drum circle, guitar jam zone and much more. “Make Music Day has become a phenomenal success, occurring in cities around the globe, and we’re proud to help it continue to grow," said Christopher D. Guerin, V. P. of Corporate Communications for Sweetwater Sound Inc. "We sponsor hundreds of music events and organizations every year, so Make Music Day is a natural component of our larger initiative to encourage people of all ages to create, play, and share music, both locally and nationally.”
Dozens more retailers banded together to form a day long, coast-to-coast jam session. Bertrand’s Music Enterprises, Inc., Willis Music Company, Eagle Rock Music Studio, Dynamic Percussion, Stebal Drums, Mike Risko Music School, Guitar Center (OR), Mo's Fullerton Music, Hix Bros Music, Middle C Music, Olive Branch Pickers, Tegeler Music, Lock 12 Music, Beller's Music, Penny Lane Music Emporium and BridgeSet Sound were among the retailers hosting drum and ukulele circles, instrument petting zoos, and guitar events that were open to all.
The NAMM Foundation Museum of Making Music brought music to the people with free admission, lessons, jams and performances throughout Make Music Day. “There was non-stop music making all day long at the NAMM Foundation Museum of Making Music," said Carolyn Grant, executive director of the museum. "More than 500 people came through in a steady stream!” The museum offered non-stop ukulele lessons, jams, performances and a powerful moment as a student who participates in the museum’s elementary school partner’s music program sang “Let it Be” while playing the piano bringing everyone to tears with its beauty and innocence.
Make Music Day is part of the international Fête de la Musique, taking place in 700 cities in 120 countries. Get involved on June 21, 2016 by visiting makemusicday.org.
Find high-resolution photos and video for media use at image.net/makemusicday2015.