BMA Makers: Mud to Music South American Instrument Making

This event is now SOLD OUT.

Spend your Thursday evening with musician, instrument-maker, and composer Melissa Foss as she leads a hands-on workshop on musical instruments made across Central and South America for thousands of years. Foss will lead a tour of instruments in the museum’s Indigenous Arts of the Ancient Americas collection and engage us in the sophisticated ways these cultures have used sound, music, iconography, and sculpture to express their world visions. Learn to build your own clay flute using ancient pottery-making techniques and contemplate the relevance of ancestral wisdom in our world today.

All are welcome, and no previous experience with clay, instruments, or music is necessary.

This free event is for adults only.

Program Schedule

5 p.m. – Check-in

5:30 p.m. – Program begins in classroom

9 p.m. – Workshop ends

This workshop will require participants to pick up their newly kiln-fired pieces roughly three weeks after the program.


Melissa Foss

Melissa Hyatt Foss is a musician, instrument-maker and composer hailing from Maryland and Vermont. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Art History at James Madison University she relocated to Argentina where she studied and developed her career as a performer, researcher, and teaching artist for over a decade. She completed her master’s degree in Musical Creation, New Technologies and Traditional Arts at the National University of Argentina, specializing in the recreation of ancient sound artifacts of the Americas and electroacoustic composition. For seven years she was a soloist, touring in Argentina and around the world, with the Orchestra of Indigenous Instruments and New Technologies, which was recipient of the International Music Council’s Musical Rights Award in 2013.

Melissa has cultivated an interdisciplinary practice that takes shape in hand-built musical instruments and organic electronica. Her work is a multifaceted contemplation of the beauty of our human heritage, the wisdom of our ancestors, and a search for their place in our world today. Foss is currently a Resident Artist at Creative Alliance.

This workshop is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council.
Maryland State Arts Council logo

The Details

Location BMA Main Campus 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm Cost Sold Out