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Learning Retreat



The TATI Annual Learning Retreat stands as the capstone event for the TATI Lab Cohort Program, offering 25 dedicated Teaching Artists from across the U.S. and Canada an immersive weeklong experience in Miami, FL.

This all-expenses-paid retreat, typically held in June, fosters collaboration and professional growth as participants engage in lectures, peer reflections, and real-time teaching practice at Miami Music Project’s summer camp. Exclusive to graduates of the current year’s Lab Cohort Program, the retreat provides a unique opportunity to refine teaching skills and cultivate personal development in a supportive environment.

Additionally, the Learning Retreat facilitates networking among community program educators, enabling the exchange of best practices in workshops such as Culturally Responsive Teaching, Classroom Management, and Social Emotional Learning. Teaching opportunities at Miami Music Project afford participants the chance for observation by both faculty and peer teachers, ensuring real-time feedback on skill application in the classroom.

retreat at-a-glance

2024 learning retreat faculty


Workshop: Social- Emotional Learning and Healing-Centered Practices

Alysia receives national recognition for advancing access, equity, and decolonization with leaders, organizations, and communities. Her methods center on youth leadership, anti-racism, creativity, and justice. 

Alysia is the inaugural President of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, the bold hyperlocal grantmaker stewarding public funds to support the success of Baltimore’s young people. BCYF is committed to authentic community engagement, and all strategy and grant decisions are shaped and led by Baltimore community members and youth leaders. With the core values of Racial Equity, Intergenerational Leadership, Community Ownership, and Collective Decision-Making, BCYF strives to resource a future where children and youth programs have the resources they need to equitably serve all young Baltimoreans. 

Lee is the Founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir (SCG), the El Sistema-inspired, girl empowerment choral academy in Philadelphia, Camden, and Baltimore in its 11th season. SCG is an award-winning and trendsetting choral education program with performance credits from Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and numerous school and community stages. 


Workshop: Classroom Management Strategies for the Culturally-Responsive Teacher

Dr. Derrick Fox is the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Creative Endeavors and a Professor of Choral Conducting at Michigan State University. Prior to MSU, he was the Director of Choral Activities and Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Assistant Professor of Choral Music at Ithaca College. Dr. Fox has taught at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels. His conducting experiences have included singers from upper elementary choirs through collegiate and community choirs. He was awarded the 2021 Bryan R. Johnson Service Award by the Nebraska Music Educators Association and the 2022 University of Nebraska Omaha Award for Distinguished Research/Creative Activity.

Dr. Fox has conducted all state and regional choirs across the United States, led international, national and regional choral concerts/residencies and presented professional development workshops across the United States and internationally. His professional workshops focus on assessment in the choral classroom, building classroom community, rehearsal strategies, choral conducting techniques and shape note singing in the African American community. Dr. Fox has held teaching residencies at the Latvian Academy of Music and Syracuse University and led performance tours through Lithuania and Estonia. Dr. Fox conducted the 2019 National ACDA Middle School/Junior High Mixed Honor Choir and traveled to South Africa as a 2019 ACDA International Conductor Exchange Fellow where he led choral workshops and rehearsals in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Potchefstroom.


Workshop: Culturally-Responsive Teaching in the Large Group Setting

Felipe Morales-Torres is an award winning orchestra teacher, conductor, clinician, and researcher working to further liberation and healing in music education. He is the Assistant Director of the Bornoff Foundation and manager of the FASE Diverse String Teachers Fellowship, using his 10+ years of experience leading public school and community-based orchestra programs to support fellow teachers.. Felipe also teaches instrumental music education at Northern Kentucky University and is a conductor for the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestras, which have earned various conference performances and national recognitions for his diverse and progressive programming. He conducts students in region and state honors festivals across the US and Latin America, and serves on the board of the Ohio String Teachers Association and the ASTA national committees for Mentorship and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Felipe Morales-Torres es un galardonado profesor y director de orquestas e investigador de la equidad y la liberación en la educación musical. Es el subdirector de la Fundación Bornoff y utiliza sus más de 10 años de experiencia dirigiendo programas de orquestas comunitarias y en escuelas públicas para apoyar a sus compañeros docentes. Además, Felipe se ha desempeñado como director de las Orquestas Sinfónicas Juveniles de Cincinnati desde 2015, obteniendo varias presentaciones en conferencias y reconocimientos nacionales por su programación diversa y progresista. También dirige a estudiantes en presentaciones en festivales, incluidas orquestas regionales y estatales, en todo Estados Unidos y América Latina. Felipe fue elegido miembro de la junta ejecutiva de la Asociación de Maestros de Cuerdas de Ohio y fue autor de un capítulo en el manual “Rehearsing the Full Orchestra” [Ensayando la Orquesta Sinfónica] de Sandy Goldie. También forma parte de los comités nacionales de tutoría y diversidad, equidad e inclusión para la Asociación Estadounidense de Maestros de Cuerdas.


Workshop: Framing and Reflecting on your Teaching Practice

Originally from South Africa, Monique Van Willingh is a musician, educator and advocate for social justice through teacher training and creating spaces of belonging, with cultural humility as the central approach.

A graduate of the Sistema Fellows Program at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2013, Monique explored the Venezuelan El Sistema music for social change program model. She then completed the Master of Arts in Teaching Degree at Longy School of Music of Bard College situated at the Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) after school youth program site.

Returning to the HOLA family as Music Director just over a year later. Monique was dedicated to inspiring and empowering students to become outstanding musicians and leaders in the community through a focus on developing student voice. The HOLA Music Program served over 275 youth and it was Monique’s greatest joy to lead this program as Director for 2.5 years.

Monique serves as the Vice President of the El Sistema USA national board. Monique has also completed the Community Counselor Course through the Southern California Counseling center, which places social justice as the central lens through which to understand and support communities.

As a proud Longy Teacher Education program alum, Monique is committed to deepening her impact as an arts and education leader by supporting the music education field through developing music teachers, and exploring processes for courageous dialogue around equity, access, belonging, collaboration, socio-cultural awareness, student ownership and musical excellence


Miami Music Project uses music as an instrument for social transformation, empowering children to acquire values and achieve their full potential, positively affecting their society through the study and performance of music.



The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. Since its co-founding in 1987 by Artistic Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,150 alumni worldwide. 

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