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Midwest Regional Practicum: April 19-20, 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 April 19-20 at the Midwest Regional Practicum in Kalamazoo, MI, hosted by Kalamazoo Kids In Tune, a program of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

About the Host organization

Working hand in hand with Kalamazoo Pulbic Schools, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra offers Kalamazoo Kids in Tune, an innovative after-school orchestra and youth development program at KPS Woods Lake Elementary and Milwood Magnet School. Students from early elementary through high school study instruments and chamber music, and participate in daily lessons and orchestra rehearsals. Selected middle and high school students return to the elementary program as KKIT Young Leaders twice per week to mentor younger children, and recent graduates can apply to become paid interns. After-school meals and busing make the program widely accessible.

featured clinician

Dr. Derrick Fox

Dr. Derrick Fox is the Director of Choral Activities and Distinguished Associate Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  He earned a BME from Arkansas State University, a MM in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a DMA in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, where he was awarded the prestigious University Enrichment Graduate Fellowship. 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. In 2021, He was awarded the Bryan R. Johnson Service Award by the Nebraska Music Educators Association.

Dr. Fox has conducted all state choirs, 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, led performance tours through Lithuania and Estonia. His recent engagements include presentations in Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, New York, South Carolina, North Dakota, Missouri and Florida; as well as conducting the Hawaii All State Choir, Alabama All State Choir, New York All State MS/JH Choir, the Wisconsin Collegiate All State Choir and the 2019 National ACDA Middle School/Junior High Mixed Honor Choir. He recently traveled to South Africa as a 2019 ACDA International Conductor Exchange Fellow where he led choral workshops and rehearsals in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Potchefstroom. 

As a baritone soloist, Dr. Fox has collaborated with various organizations; among them are the Arkansas Symphony, Lansing Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Columbia Chorale, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha Symphonic Chorus, University of Missouri, Michigan State University, Webster University and the Espaço Cultural (Brasilia, Brazil). He can be heard singing selections from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess on the compact disc In This Hid Clearing, available on the Naxos Classical Music label.

As an author, Dr. Fox has written articles for many organizations and was a contributing author in the Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill choral textbook Voices in Concert. His compositions and arrangements are published by Hal Leonard and Brilee Music. His book, Yes You Can: A Band Director’s Guide to Teaching Choirs is published by Carl Fischer. He launched The Derrick Fox Choral Series with Music Spoke to publish works by and about marginalized and minoritized people. He created the Professional Choral Collective (PCC) to collect and create learning activities and teaching strategies for choral music educators around the world to use during the 2020 Coronavirus virus pandemic and beyond. He also partnered with the Country Music Association Foundation to create the Unified Voices for Music Education Initiative which provides learning activities for instrumental and elementary music educators.

Dr. Fox serves on the advisory board for the Sound Spirit, a research lab and publishing initiative promoting collaborative engagement with the songbooks that sound America’s musical landscape. He is also a member of the advisory board for the Choral Singing in America documentary series. https://www.drderrickfox.com/

featured workshops

classroom management

Effective classroom management strategies are often based on the notion of Culturally Responsive Care: Holding students to high expectations (their best) and caring about students as individuals (person and performance). This workshop will explore the balance between high expectations and high care for students, and the role of meticulous planning in supporting all students to engage in the classroom.

growth mindset

Participants will learn about the research-based concept by psychologist, Dr. Carol Dweck, that shares that the way students view their talent, intelligence and capabilities have a direct impact on their educational experiences, learning successes, and engagement. The difference between “growth” and “fixed” mindsets will be explored, with the understanding that abilities can be developed through effort and dedication, and are not just linked to talent. A healthy view around mistakes and failure will be shared, where challenges become stepping stones to growth and students view setbacks as part of the learning journey.

Attending the Midwest Regional Practicum

April 19-20, 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 - Feb 18

General: Feb 19 - Mar 31

General Admission



Lab Cohort Member or Alumni



TATI Regional Practicum Policies

TATI Regional Practicum Vaccination Policy

All registered participants, clinicians, and vendors of a 2022-2023 Regional Practicum are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and will be asked to show proof of vaccine at the time of event check-in. Please review our policy for more information.

In accordance with CDC and local regional guidelines, TATI reserves the right, at any time, to change or modify the COVID-19 protocols in order to provide event attendees with a safe meeting environment. Failure of any participant to comply with this policy and all applicable protocols may result in the participant being removed, or denied entry, to the TATI event.

TATI Regional Practicum Cancellation Policy
Should you need to cancel, you will need to send a written request by the refund deadline of March 4, 2022. 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 March 4, 2022. All cancellation requests must be submitted via email to info@tatraininginstitute.org.

sample schedule

Day 1

9:00 – 10:00              Welcome / Setting Intentions

10:00 – 12:00            Site Visit and Peer Observations #1

12:00 – 1:00               Lunch

1:00 – 5:00                 Afternoon Workshops

5:00 – 7:00                 Networking Social

Day 2

9:00 – 10:00              Breakfast

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

12:00 – 1:00               Lunch

1:00 – 5:00                 Afternoon Workshops

5:00 – 6:00                 Closing Reflections

travel and lodging

Recommended Hotels

Downtown Kalamazoo (~3 miles from site visits)

Hilton Garden Inn
303 North Rose St,
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Self-Parking: $20/night

Home2 Suites
303 North Rose St,
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Free Breakfast
Self-Parking: $20/night

Travel Tips

Kalamazoo has limited public transportation. Attendees are highly recommended to bring their own car or plan to use a rideshare service.
Participants will be encouraged to carpool as needed between workshop locations and school site visits.

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."