The French have had their fair share of good ideas, haven’t they? Antibiotics, the oboe, little black dresses, the camera phone, cheese and wine… the list is endless! But in 1982 they had a brainwave, Fête de la Musique, or, as we know it, International Music Day. The idea was simple: a series of concerts and events, free to the public, to be held on 21 June (midsummer) each year. 2016 in the UK saw around 20 ‘official’ events staged across the country, ranging from music-making marathons to street festivals, and brass band concerts to late-night jazz – not bad considering it was a modest Tuesday! The organisers hope that 2017 will be even bigger and you can check out events near you on the International Music Day website
But International Music Day is not just for the professionals; it’s all about being active and getting involved – surely a perfect excuse to hold a school concert or show, or even take a choir or small group out to perform in the local community. How about an informal performance in an unusual location: in the staff room or outside under a tree? If you’re stuck for repertoire, Take 5 Styles
from Songs for EVERY Singing School
is great for exploring music-making and cultures from around the world. Or how about learning the song and organising a flash-mob choir to bring some unexpected music to a lunchtime queue or a morning assembly, or even to entertain parents at pick-up time?
We’d love to hear how you plan to celebrate International Music Day in your school, but whatever you end up doing, have fun, be creative and get singing!