Gloria Lien, Chair

National Music Week Essay:

May 5 – 12, 2024  Music…is yours, mine and ours
May 4 – 11, 2025  Music…is unstoppable

National Music Week has as its objective “to create an understanding and appreciation
of the value of music in the home, the community, the nation, and the world.” National Music Week is sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC).

Get more information here:

Why Celebrate National Music Week?

A National Music Week observance gives us an opportunity to focus the attention of all Americans on music as a dynamic means of communication between people and a satisfying channel of personal expression. music, not more than ever a national need, can serve as a great force for maintaining peace and harmony among peoples. In the words of National Music Week’s founder, Mr. Charles M. Tremaine,

“Music Week is, to some extent, different from all the other special ‘weeks.’  It is a ‘drive’ for music by the friends of music, but is also the occasion for participation in and receiving of pleasure, thus making it independent of any propelling force from behind.  It gathers its momentum as it goes along from the enjoyment it brings.  Its strength comes from the universal, yet sometimes unconscious human need for music, and participation ranges all the way from the elaborate concert and pageant to the simple home musicale with a place on the program sometimes even for the five-finger exercise beginner.  Music, permeating the atmosphere, enters many new places where it is welcome.”

Music is one of the most sublime of human pursuits, and is subscribed to by all races and creeds. Its use promotes understanding, friendliness and sympathy among all people. Through music, the composer expresses a variety of moods; the listener experiences a mystical awareness that transports him from the cares and troubles that beset humanity. Music is the language of all peoples. Whether used nationally or internationally, music is a great force in creating peace and harmony.

The National Federation of Music Clubs again recognizes the importance of music in the life of our nation and invites all “friends of music” to participate in this great week of celebration.

Who May Participate or Sponsor a National Music Week Activity?

Any person or group interested in the advancement of music may sponsor Music Week activities. Membership in the National Federation of Music Clubs is not required.

The following list may suggest groups that might join in the celebration.

  • Business Firms, Banks or Malls
  • Music Clubs, Service Clubs
  • Boy & Girl Scout Troops
  • Music Schools, Music Teachers
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Public and Private Schools
  • Churches
  • Parent/Teacher Associations
  • Choral Groups, Bands, Orchestras
  • Recreation Centers
  • Libraries

How Do We Begin?

National Music Week is celebrated each year during the first full week in May (the first Sunday through the second Sunday.) To have a successful Music Week observance in any community depends on organization and coordination. Local music clubs may take the initiative by enlisting the support and cooperation of all groups concerned.

If your celebration is a large one and your whole community is involved, you may want to set up a special committee with a chairman, secretary and reporter. If however, your local club already has a NMW chairman and you will simple invite other groups to participate in their own way, you may not need much more organization. Chairmen or advisors could be elected or appointed for each of the different participating groups.

Each State Chairman for National Music Week should ask for a Proclamation for National Music Week from their Governor and make copies of it available to those who want or need it.

A local Chairman in each city, community or club should ask their Mayor for a Proclamation for National Music Week and share it with all participants. Encourage groups to read or publish the proclamations.

Put National Music Week in your club’s budget and order supplies to help with your celebration. Offer posters to all participating groups, schools, malls, businesses, or nursing homes. Bookmarks, coloring pages, and seals are good gifts or prizes for members, children, schools, etc. These supplies are very economical and will make your celebration more festive.

Distribute the National Music Week Bulletin to all participants and encourage them to use the free materials listed in the order form.

Here Are Some Ideas to Begin Your Celebration of National Music Week!

Business Firms, Banks and Malls can:

  • Sponsor noonday concerts.
  • Prepare special Music Week displays. Mention National Music Week in advertising

Public and Private Schools can:

  • Plan Choral, Band and Orchestral concerts by all ages in schools, malls, etc.
  • Prepare brief special music during the lunch hour or opening announcements
  • Encourage student participation in the Essay Contest. Print or read the winner’s composition
  • Plan poster displays or contest for all ages for the week.

Libraries can:

  • Feature a “National Music Week Book Shelf.”
  • Schedule concerts throughout the week for adults and children.
  • Have displays of instruments, musical scores, photos of musicians, etc.

Service Clubs can:

  • Use music at all meetings held during Music Week.
  • Invite a musician to speak on “The Value of Music in the Community.”
  • Sponsor a concert or give a scholarship for a young musician.

Churches can:

  • Place an announcement of National Music Week in their bulletin.
  • Sponsor choir festivals, community choral singing, or concerts.
  • Include the May Together We Sing suggested song in their service.
  • Arrange special programs for hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

Music Clubs can:

  • Order supplies soon from National Headquarters and distribute them.
  • Ask for Mayors Proclamations of NMW and distribute them.
  • Plan special programs for clubs, malls, nursing homes, etc.
  • Inform Arts Councils and Chambers of Commerce about NMW dates and themes and ask that they be listed in their calendars.
  • Put announcements of NMW in symphony or other musical programs.
  • Invite all of the groups above to participate!

All Important — Publicity!

  1. Contact newspapers, radio and television stations to solicit their support. Supply them with copies of the National Music Week Bulletin, Proclamations of your Governor and Mayor, and a calendar of scheduled programs.
  2. Urge those in charge to mention your events and to encourage their advertisers to do so similarly.
  3. Encourage radio and TV stations to schedule local musicians, music leaders, and taped programs that emphasize the theme.

After All That Work, Can My Group Receive An Award?

YES! If you want your music club or other participating groups to receive awards, follow these guidelines:

  1. Complete the Report and Entry Form (AR 12-1)
  2. Note that all programs and other events for Music Week must occur within the specified dates of National Music Week.
  3. Send publicity, programs, photos, etc. for each event.  Newspaper clippings must include the name of paper, date of article, and city.  Please underline in red each mention of National Music Week or National Federation of Music Clubs.
  4. To be ELIGIBLE for awards, you must mention the National Federation of Music Clubs and National Music Week in the program.  For example:


Theme of the Year
Sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs

*Newspapers: To be eligible for any awards, NFMC and NMW must be mentioned and each clipping must have the date, name of newspaper, city, and state included.

*Radio-TV: Awards based on half-hour or more feature programs, scripts (AR 12-9) available from NFMC Headquarters.

*Displays: Awards are based on individual quality.  Supply pictures if possible.

PLEASE NOTE; Local groups should express appreciation to their mayor and governor for proclamations made since NFMC awards are not presented to them.

5. Finally, enclose your Report and Entry From in an envelope and mail to your state chairman (name and address listed on pages 12 & 13 postmarked by May 22.)

These suggestions may help as you plan for your communities National Music Week Celebration.   Adapt and expand them to fit your local needs and means — but DO CELEBRATE!

Information for State Chairmen:

After local clubs have reported to you, compile all information of form AR 12-5 and make your recommendations for awards based on the quality and amount of participation, then mail your report and all supporting materials to your Regional Chairman postmarked by June 10.

Information for Regional Chairmen:

When you receive the information from State Chairmen, complete your report form N-2B and make your final decisions on awards to be given.  Mail your report to the National Chairman and NFMC Headquarters postmarked by June 30.

How Did National Music Week Begin?

National Music Week was first observed in 1924, with 452 cities and towns participating.  Before that there had been sporadic observances — a Music Day in Dallas, Texas, in 1919; a Music Week in New York in 1920, with the late Otto Kahn as Chairman and such outstanding musical figures as Arthur Bodansky, a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, and Dr. Walter Damrosch, conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra, serving on the committee.  The Federation’s connection with Music Week began at that time. Mrs. Julian Edwards, then president of the New York Federation of Music Clubs served on the committee, and Mrs. John F Lyons, then president of National Federation of Music clubs, served on the first National Music Week Committee in 1924.

Charles M. Tremaine, the catalyst who noted all these sporadic observances, and who first conceived the idea of a National Music Week, wrought his dream into reality.  He was head of the National Bureau for the Advancement of Music.  From 1924 to 1947 he formulated the program, carried on the executive work, and made music Week internationally famous.

May 4-10, 1924, Charles M. Tremaine guided the first synchronized celebration of National Music Week.  Otto H. Kahn, patron of the arts and for many years Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera Company, was the first National Chairman.

Since 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge served as the first Honorary Chairman, each of our nation’s Chief Executives has given his moral support to this annual observance.

Additional information on the history of National Music Week may be obtained in the book “National Music Week” by Charles M. Tremaine.

Activities that Led to the First National Music Week in 1924:

1915National Week of Song
1917First public mention of Music Week in Music Trades Review
1919First City observance, Boise, Idaho
1919St. Louis Music Week
1919DeForest Music Week, Sharon, PA
1919Dallas Music Day
1919Music Week, Navasota, TX
1920Music Week, New York
1923First National Observance
1924First synchronized National Music Week
1947-57Sponsored by the National Recreation Association
1958Sponsored by the NFMC and American Music Conference
1959Sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs