Free to all participants, the Saturday Music Lab is held at Dalton Center on the campus of Western Michigan University. The two-hour experience involves singing, moving and instrument-playing activities designed and presented by area Master Music Educators with assistance from WMU music education majors.
These experiences not only enrich school-based curricular instruction for K-6 students, but also provide opportunities for WMU music education majors to refine their instructional and leadership skills in a real-world environment.
Each Saturday Music Lab is built around children's song literature, with K-4 participants experiencing developmentally appropriate classes focused on skills and knowledge development in music. Specific activities vary from week to week, but most will experience singing, moving and instrument playing. Children in grades 5 and 6 develop skills in a pop ukulele format for each two-hour lab. Previous skill on these instruments isn’t necessary, but a willingness to learn is vital!
The fall 2016 schedule for Saturday Music Labs is October 29, November 5 and 12 from 9 to 11 a.m., with classes meeting in Dalton Center classrooms. Check-in before each Saturday Music Lab, and pick-up at the end of each Lab session is in the Dalton Center Lobby. Free parking is available in the Miller Auditorium Parking Deck.
There is no cost to participate in the Saturday Music Lab, but registration is required to ensure adequate balance between teachers and students. Registration is open to students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade, for single or multiple Saturday Music Labs. A link to the online registration form, found here, will become active on October 15.
The Music Education Program at WMU places great value on field-based learning. We partner with area school districts to provide practicum experiences in each of our music education methods classes. WMU students who serve as Saturday Music Lab assistants are enrolled in MUS 2480 Teaching and Learning in Music, an undergraduate course in music education.
The Saturday Music Lab is funded by a grant from the WMU College of Fine Arts, and provided by the music education program in the School of Music, as a service to the Greater Kalamazoo area community. For more information, contact Dr. David Smith, at (269) 387-4723.