by Tyler Reina
On June 21st, Nashville will once again be joining cities around the world in an annual celebration of music known as Make Music Day: a public, all-inclusive day of free music lessons, jam sessions, concerts, and everything in between.
Make Music Nashville (MMN) is a day for Nashvillians at any level of musical know-how, from absolute beginner to bona fide expert, to participate in the joys of music making. Events are held in different locations throughout the city and are completely free. Instruments will be provided.
“We have a two-fold goal,” says Matthew Fox, co-founder and president of Make Music Nashville, “to provide an even platform where anyone can be a performer and anywhere can be a venue, so long as we are providing free music for the community.” Fox emphasizes how the day is intended for anyone who is willing to participate, saying, “It gives all people, regardless of walk-of-life or skill level, the ability to take part in something on their own terms. Even beating on a drum in the park makes them a music maker.”
At last year’s MMN, 130 artists performed across 35 venues, and 1,225 instruments were donated to the public. The lack of a single, centralized location means you’ll be able to find a performance or jam at basically any corner of the city. Go to the zoo and you may find yourself taking free harmonica lessons, or stop by the airport and you may stumble upon the 200-person spoon jam being held in collaboration with the National Museum of African American Music. Other events this year include a free ukulele jam and lessons at the Country Music Hall of Fame, a hymn sing at Lindsley Avenue Church, a Fisk student and alum showcase at Centennial Park, and much more.
For Fox, part of the fun of organizing MMN is facilitating partnerships between organizations that don’t typically collaborate with each other; “we like to play matchmaker and connect the dots throughout the city.” People may be surprised by what organizations will be turned into venues on June 21. Nashville MTA is participating this year—so even a bus makes for a suitable venue!
Make Music Nashville will take place on June 21 at various locations. For more information, visit www.makemusicday.org/nashville.