January 28th National Kazoo Day

Ah, the musical instrument anyone can play, so long as you have lips! With as simple as the design is, you might think the kazoo has been with us since the beginning of time, but it hasn’t.

The first vented kazoo was created in the 1840’s, made by Alabama Vest in Macon, Georgia. His instrument was crudely made calling for Thaddeus Von Clegg, in Germany, to find ways to improve it and make it resemble what we know the kazoo to look like today.

It was not mass manufactured until 1912 when Emil Sorg and Michael McIntyre started making them on an assembly line. The price naturally dropped making it probably the most affordable musical instruments one can buy. Of course, the better the quality the better the sound and the longer they will last.

It is the perfect kitchen band instrument, good for sing-a-longs and to entertain those around you. They may not always be in tune but they are fun and it’s hard to keep from smiling when one is being played.

How to celebrate – Go buy a good quality kazoo! Form a Kazoo kitchen band. Learn how to make your own kazoo.

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October 13th Universal Music Day

October 13th Universal Music Day

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Music is one of the most important things in our lives. It brings back memories, calms us, excites us and brings us joy. It serves as background in elevators, drives fund raisers and just generally makes our lives better.

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Today has been celebrated on the second Saturday of October since 2007. Whether you like Rock, Jazz, Rap, Blues, Classical or whatever form of music that pleases you today is the day to spend a little time listening, remembering and enjoying.

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How to celebrate – Listen to the music of your choice. Learn how to play a musical instrument. Go out dancing.

June 25th Global Beatles Day

Global Beatles Day June 25th, 2018

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“All You Need Is Love!” according to John Lennon. That’s what started it all when the Beatles did a BBC airing during the Summer Of Love, 1967, that was broadcast in 26 countries.

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Of course the Beatles had been around longer, since 1960 with “Love Me Do”. Global Beatles Day was founded in 2009 so we will never forget John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr or George Harrison.

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They changed music forever, fashion, hair and just about anything you can think of. Some of tgeir hits included “Let It Be”, “Here, There And Everywhere” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

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How to celebrate – Listen to the Beatles. Throw a Beatles party. Learn how to play guitar.

 

May 22nd National Buy A Musical Instrument Day

Music can calm the beast. Music is used as therapy. Music can help us remember fond moments we have had in the past. Or, music can bring you instant joy by playing it yourself. You get a sense of accomplishment and may even inspire others!

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Renting or borrowing a musical instrument is almost a sure way to prove you are not going to learn how to play it. Even before you have started you are giving yourself an out for quitting. Buy one, showing that commitment and sometimes forcing yourself to learn something because you spent good money on it is the only way to be successful.

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And don;t buy a piece of junk. Learning a musical instrument can be challenging enough. I use to teach guitar and I saw so many people buying their children a $50.00 special and I knew the child was not going to learn to play. Pros don’t play on $50.00 specials where the strings are a mile from the fret board and it will not tune properly. How can you expect a student to play such an instrument?

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Years ago, people bought organs for home entertainment, instrument that had so many automatic features on them that they required little effort to play. Thankfully it seems those days are long gone by. If you are going to play, even if it’s just for fun, learn to play the right way.

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And if you really want to annoy the family, the neighbors and the entire block, buy a set of drums and start learning how to play. That way, everyone can enjoy your effort! Seriously though, buy a musical instrument and give it a go. The only thing you can regret is that you never tried at all.

How to celebrate -Choose a musical instrument to buy. Make sure you are having fun, you won’t learn otherwise. Make the investment in yourself to create your own memories.

May 2nd National Play Your Ukulele Day

It use to be uncool to play ukulele, but now it is making a huge comeback! Just goes to show what was old is new again. Back in the 1920’s it was very cool to play the ukulele. All across the country students on college campuses played ukulele, wore fury coats, and straw hats to celebrate ragtime music.

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It then fell out with the population along with swallowing goldfish but lately it’s becoming very, very popular again. The band Train featured the ukulele in Hey, Soul Sister and all of a sudden the stringed instrument became  featured in many, many songs by many, many artists.

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Of course, it never stopped being popular in Hawaii. Nearly every Hawaiian song you hear uses the ukulele. There is just something fun about the instrument and it generally creates happy music, perhaps because it is a light sound and cannot really be used in anything over powering or dynamic.

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Did you know that there are seven different classes of ukulele though!?! The smallest is the pocket ukulele, next the soprano, tenor (the most popular), baritone, bass, and contra-bass. Each gets larger with the contra-bass almost appearing to be a small guitar.

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So there is a World Ukulele Day, February 2nd, but today is just a National Day. It is still considered more of an ‘artsy’ instrument but it is coming on strong and gaining use by national, and international artists.

How to celebrate – Learn how to play ukulele. Go to Hawaii. Revisit the Roaring 20’s.

April 11th National Eight Track Tape Day

Come on admit it it! If you are old as I am you probably still have an eight track tape of one or two of the artists you thought you could never replace. Here again, if you are like me you no longer have a working eight track tape player so the cartridge is useless but you still can’t bring yourself to throw away that tape because, well, it’s a memory you sort of like to be reminded of.

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For those younger folks, it was a storage unit for the music you liked to listen to. It was small enough that you could actually have a player in your car instead of having to wait until you got home to listen to your favorite band. It was created by a man named William Lear and I m sure that he ended up very wealthy.

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It definitely is a 60’s and 70’s kind of thing.  You will probably never find an eight track of Justin Beiber, which could be a good reason to go back to 8 tracks! The way we listen to music will probably continue to change over the years to come. For the most part, it’s better, the cartridges are smaller and store more now. You can carry an entire decade of music in your pocket now. The quality is better and playback decisively improved. But it seems like something we expect these days and we are no longer as impressed as when the 8 track first came out.

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The 8 track has gone the way of 37 cent a gallon gasoline and record stores where you could go spend hours looking at what was new on the latest releases. But in some ways there will always be a place for the 8 track in our hearts. It was so new and innovative in it’s time it revolutionized the world, and those who benefited from music sales.

How to celebrate – Dig out your old 8 tracks. See if you can find a working 8 track player. Dress up in 60’s or 70’s clothing.

February 3rd National The Day the Music Died Day

The Day the Music Died Day – Feb. 3rd

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February 3rd, 1959 Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J. P. Richardson (the Big Bopper) took off on a plane flight to Moorhead, Minnesota but they never got there. In fact they only got a few miles away, crashing at Clear Lake. Don McLean wrote “American Pie” to honor them stating it was the day the music died. Fate had stepped in for Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup, who were supposed to be on the plane but lost their seats to Richardson and Valens.

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How to pay respects – Listen to American Pie (give yourself some time because it’s rather long). Learn about Holly, Valens, and Richardson. Remember all those musicians who have passed away.