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Midwest Regional Practicum: November 3-4, 2023


The Midwest Regional Practicum is designed to convene Teaching Artists from El Sistema-inspired and community music programs across the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Over two full days in-person, participants gain new skills and tools that directly support the continued growth of their teaching practice as they hear from expert clinicians, reflect together through collaborative conversations, observe teaching artistry in real-time, and build a network of peer Teaching Artists. 

We look forward to meeting you November 3-4 at the Midwest Regional Practicum in Chicago, IL, hosted by the Merit School of Music.

About the Host organization

Merit School of Music is a nationally accredited music school located in Chicago’s West Loop. Their primary goals are to help young people transform their lives and experience personal growth through music by providing access to participation. For more than 40 years, Merit has been home to a diverse community of talented young musicians and have acted as a springboard for achieving full musical and personal potential. Their passionate and experienced teaching artists provide access to high-quality music education, engaging over 2,500 students annually at their downtown location and in area schools and community centers. Merit students, who reflect the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of Chicago, have the rare opportunity to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their horizons as they build inspiring lives through music. Merit develops musicians and provides young people with the tools they need to excel in life, with 100% of their Conservatory graduates going on to college.

featured clinician

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Andrea Davis is the Director of El Sistema and School Specialties at Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, MA. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Education from Syracuse University, completed graduate studies in music for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing with a concentration in students with Autism at University of Pittsburgh, and is currently enrolled in a certificate program in School Leadership at Harvard University. Andrea has taught music, including starting multiple school music programs, as well as writing and special education, in Pittsburgh and New York City, and co-authored a secondary school music curriculum for New York City schools. Andrea specializes in teaching music for diverse needs, gamification in the music classroom, as well as integrating the arts and other content areas.

practicum WORKSHOPS


This Regional Practicum will focus on designing lesson plans that intentionally support different learning styles and build musical skills over time. Participants will learn how to create learning goals that are specific and work to define success for student learning. An emphasis will be placed on planning that supports all students in the classroom and will explore pacing, scope and sequence, and scaffolded learning. Planning skills within the context of community music programming will be shared that give Teaching Artists a sense of ownership and a deeper purpose in the classroom, by focusing on both concert-readiness and musical skill building.

additional lens: differntiated learning and scaffolding

Participants will learn how to incorporate various students’ individual learning styles and needs into their class plans, and explore how to create multiple access points for students to engage with class content and repertoire. Learning how to think through how to ensure every student is engaged and can accomplish levels of success in each class will be a key component of this lens. 

sample schedule

Day 1

9:00 – 10:00              Breakfast and Opening Session

10:00 – 12:00            Workshop #1

12:00 – 1:00               Lunch

1:00 – 3:00                 Workshop #2

3:00 – 5:00                 Merit Site Visit and Peer Observations #1

6:30 – 8:30                 Regional Networking Social

Day 2

9:00 – 10:00              Breakfast

10:00 – 12:00            Merit Site Visit and Peer Observations #2

12:00 – 1:00               Lunch

1:00 – 5:00                 Workshops #3 and #4

5:00 – 6:00                 Closing Reflections

Attending the Midwest Regional Practicum

November 3-4, 2023

The TATI Regional Practicums are designed to be intimate, personalized conferences between a committed group of Teaching Artists. By registering for the Midwest Regional Practicum and securing one of these limited spots, you are committing to attend both days in their entirety.

Registration Type

EArly Bird: Now - Sept 5

General: sept 6 - oct 13

General Admission



Lab Cohort alumni



TATI Regional Practicum Policies

TATI Regional Practicum Attendance Policy
The TATI Regional Practicums are designed to be small, personalized events with limited seats. As such, by registering for a Regional Practicum, Teaching Artists commit to attend both days in full, typically from 9:00am to 6:00pm. This includes finding necessary substitutes, arranging childcare, rescheduling meetings, etc.

TATI Regional Practicum Cancellation Policy
Should you need to cancel, you will need to send a written request by the refund deadline of September 22, 2023. You will receive a refund of the registration fee, minus a $25 administrative fee, for each cancelled registration. No refunds will be issued for cancellation requests received after September 22, 2023. All cancellation requests must be submitted via email to

travel and lodging

tati has a block of hotel rooms reserved at:

Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown West Loop (.5 mile from Practicum activities)
116 N Jefferson St, Chicago, IL
Free daily hot breakfast
Bar in hotel
Self-Parking Available

Group Code: 601
Deadline to book your room: October 18, 2023
Single and double rooms available.

Travel Tips

The Midwest Regional Practicum will primarily be based in the West Loop of Chicago. Public transportation is available, but participants should plan accordingly for extra travel time. Paid, public parking is available within 1 block of the main location where Practicum activities will be held.

The 2022 Midwest Regional Practicum "was the perfect balance between breadth and depth. I really enjoyed being challenged to step outside of the daily work and to think deeply and consider new perspectives. It is truly amazing to talk to other teaching artists, see their work, feel inspired, motivated, and renewed."