Meth has hit Muncie hard. The numbers appear to tell a story of a city full of addicts and junkies, but Mike Martin, a former resident of Muncie, heard that narrative and decided to come back to help make a change.
When a Star Press article asked if Muncie was a smart city or a meth city, Martin got in touch with city authorities, including Mayor Dennis Tyler, to start working on an event Martin called ”Make Music Not Meth.”
It was a three-part series that took place in the summer of 2016 and was intended to get kids involved in music and art and away from drugs. Each part of the series focused on a different aspect of music.
The first part focused on rhythm and teaching kids the basics of percussion and staying in tempo. Martin invited a group of drummers called the Shamaniacs out to perform and give free lessons. He felt rhythm is the most basic part of music and, therefore, felt this was the best place to start.
Part two was women in music. That day focused on how women have influenced music history. That then led to the final part which Martin called ”my voice”
The final part of the series focused on writing. Martin wanted to teach kids how to put their voice into lyric writing.
The final part was also when Martin and his band performed for everyone in a free concert.
Martin wanted this series to not only give kids an alternative to drugs, but also to show the community of Muncie is more than just the number of meth busts they have each year. He wanted ”Make Music, Not Meth” to clearly tell everyone that Muncie is not a meth city but a smart city.