Today is Make Music Day! Last year there were celebrations in over 700 cities worldwide. This year – who knows! It all began in France in 1982 as Fête de la Musique. Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture, had discovered that one out of two French children played a musical instrument, and he thought that having an all-day musical celebration on the day of the summer solstice would be a wonderful way to bring people out on the streets to make music.
Make Music Day is now an international phenomenon celebrated each year in 120 countries on the day of the summer solstice. The official Fête de la Musique organization in Paris wants to promote music by encouraging amateur and professional musicians to perform in the streets, and they want the concerts to be free so that they can be enjoyed by everyone. See what’s happening in a city near you, or create your own Make Music Day celebration. “Sousapalooza,” seen in the photo above and started in Chicago in 2011, will be held this year not only in Chicago, but also in Cleveland, New York, and St. Paul.
Frankly, I think every day should be Make Music Day! If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have read earlier posts that discuss the research that shows that we may be hardwired to make music. (Check under the Categories of Brain hardwiring, and Infants and music.) And I am currently working on a series of posts that will discuss the increasing amount of research that demonstrates that making music confers cognitive advantages in other areas. Researchers aren’t saying that “music makes you smarter,” but that musical training enhances neuroplasticity, and those neural connections made while you are learning an instrument and making music “prime” the brain for other skills, including language, speech, memory, and attention.
So stay tuned, and, in addition to celebrating the Summer Solstice today, celebrate Make Music Day!!