Coronavirus News: Make Music New York's 14th annual 'Make Music Day' goes virtual amid pandemic

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The annual Make Music Day is described as "a musical free-for-all," and this Sunday, June 21, is the 14th year the non-profit group Make Music New York has marked the Summer Solstice with a day-long celebration in New York City.

Like so many other organizations, it has had to adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic by going virtual.

For more than a dozen years, amateur and professional musicians have come together to make music and mark the start of summer with song.

"(Make Music New York) encourages musicians of all skill levels, ages, ethnicities and interests to sign up to perform," Executive Director James Burke said.

The idea is to reflect the city's remarkable creativity and diversity.

Traditionally, free music lessons have been available in Time Square and other public spaces.

"We love the power that music has to bring people together," Burke said.

But there can be no lessons in person due to the pandemic, and no group singalongs either. So this year's celebration had to move online.

"We have instructors from around the globe teaching 25 different instruments, so we'll miss that kind of hands on experience," Burke said. "But we're thrilled to offer that to our fans.

Still, there are objectives to be accomplished virtually that cannot be done in person.

"One is to connect people not only across New York City, but around the world," Burke said.

And since this Sunday is also Father's Day, dads and their kids are being encouraged to post their music videos to using the hashtag #MusicMeAndMyKid


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