Make Music Day takes place in 125 countries across the globe. Each of these countries has its own unique folk music tradition which we wanted to share and celebrate on Make Music Day.

In 2021 we invited musicians from across the world to take part in this Global Folk Challenge by swapping folk songs. Participating musicians and groups shared a folk song from their country, and in exchange, learnt and performed a different folk song submitted by another participating musician. The songs were then performed and shared on Make Music Day.

Sounds great! How did it work?

There were two steps to participate in this project – SHARE A SONG & LEARN A SONG


  • Musicians were invited to submit a folk song from their country.
  • Songs could be submitted in any language, but we suggested keeping it relatively simple so that other musicians can pick it up easily.
  • Musicians could share documents and/or links e.g. written music, lyrics, performance video, audio recording, background information, performance tips. Plus an audio recording of the song for other musicians to learn from (not everyone can read music).
  • Songs were submitted from Scotland, England, Isle of Man, USA, Germany, Estonia, China, Nigeria and Nepal.


  • From late May we shared the submitted songs with all of the participating musicians/groups to select a song to perform on 21 June, preferably from a different region or country to their own.
  • All participants had access to the materials submitted in Step 1. They were also encouraged to get in touch with the musician/group who shared the song to ask questions and get to know them.
  • Participants had free reign to create their own version of the song i.e. different instruments and performance techniques which we actively encouraged.
  • On 21 June 2021, participating groups shared performances on social media using the hashtags #MMDFolk and #MakeMusicDay to join in the global celebration. Have a look at some of the performances here.

Chloe Woolley of Make Music Isle of Mann has written a terrific article on the project and how the IoM embraced Make Music Day 2021 – read it here.

Any questions or interested in getting involved/initiating something similar? Contact