About the event

World music day or ‘Fête de la Musique’, as it was first known, has its origins in France. First thought up by Jack Lang and Maurice Fleuret from the French Ministry of culture in 1982, it was a day intended to encourage the mass performance of music. Now, the event has spread all over the world where musicians of all kinds (profesional and amature) play music in public for free. The day is celebrated in over 130 countries with more than 1,000 cities taking part. 

How to approach it

The original intent of the day was inspired by Maurice Fleuret’s view that the performance of music in public was on the decline and so a day was required to encourage it. The point about the day is not about musical excellence but a chance for all musicians everywhere to play something. You could, for example, organise a concert in an assembly, outside in the playground or in your classroom. Encourage students who play an instrument to show your class what they’ve been practising recently or bring some new instruments for other students to try. 

You could bring in a global theme to music day by exploring different musical styles and instruments from around the world. Encourage student’s curiosity by asking them to find a new instrument or musical style that they haven’t heard before. Alternatively, have students speak to the class about music they consider part of their heritage. Ask students: What does it sound like? How is it performed? What historical, political or cultural significance does it have? What do you like about it?

Conversation starter

Music is enjoyed all over the world. From Irish Flutes to Indian Sitars. Have you ever listened to music from another culture? What kind is your favourite? Take time today to listen to music from a new place that you have never been before.