National Sawdust Student CoLab

National Sawdust Student CoLab

National Sawdust’s flagship education program for middle school composers and artists

At the core of National Sawdust’s mission is the belief in artistic expression to empower us all to create a more inclusive world. Our flagship education program, Student CoLab, aims to engage young people in this idea by using the power of music discovery to inspire interdisciplinary art making which reflects their own experience of the world, impacting both their lives and the lives of people within their community.  

Our partners, El Puente Beacon Leadership Program’s mission is to promote youth leadership through arts and activism to empower student voice, providing opportunities to engage in inquiry-based and project-based learning. Each year, Student CoLab engages up to twenty young people from the school to participate in a three-month program of workshops and performances.

Inspired by themes and artists in National Sawdust’s Artist-in-Residence and Projects programs, Student CoLab enables direct collaboration between these artists and young people. During the three-month program, young people watch live performances at National Sawdust and participate in workshops with teaching and performing artists to create original compositions and artwork. The program culminates in a performance of their work by professional artists and themselves at National Sawdust.

This journey of artistic discovery and self expression empowers young people to have a voice on the issues which affect them, while also enabling them to explore and fulfill their potential as a creative beings. It welcomes young people, their friends, family and wider community to National Sawdust, inviting them to access and experience art and music which is relevant to their lives.

The methodology for the composition element of the course is inspired by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s Very Young Composers program and our valuable partnership from 2015-18.

Past Events:

1B1 & El Puente Arts present: Very Young Composers Showcase

May 07, 2016 - 12pm For this new exciting partnership between Very Young Composers, National Sawdust and El Puente, the students worked with teaching artists and composers Angélica Negrón and Anna Clyne to compose new pieces for the young and progressive Norwegian string ensemble 1B1.

Found Sound Nation: LADAMA and El Puente Showcase

May 20, 2016 • 7:00pm LADAMA is a music ensemble comprised of five female multi-instrumentalists (guitarists, percussionists, singer/songwriters) from across the Americas who strive to engage youth and other women in their respective communities in the process of music-making, sound design, composition and audio production. LADAMA aims to address gender inequality and unequal representation of women and encourage all to express their humanity by building community through music. A week long residency in partnership with Found Sound Nation and National Sawdust, LaDama will work with young people and women from the El Puente Leaders for Peace and Justice and co-create a new performance piece for a live audience, in addition to leading a performance by LADAMA themselves.

Very Young Composers’ El Puente Showcase performed by Face the Music

April 29, 2017 - 12:30pm Very Young Composers aims to unlock and empower the natural artistry, musicianship, and creativity inherent in virtually all children, regardless of economic circumstance, race, gender, or nationality. Goals are to build personal confidence and leadership; to cultivate deep understanding of music; and to inspire tomorrow’s composers to bring the music of the future into the concert hall.

Very Young Composers’ El Puente Showcase performed by Face the Music

May 12th, 2018 - 11:30am doors • 12pm show Very Young Composers aims to unlock and empower the natural artistry, musicianship, and creativity inherent in virtually all children, regardless of economic circumstance, race, gender, or nationality. Goals are to build personal confidence and leadership; to cultivate deep understanding of music; and to inspire tomorrow’s composers to bring the music of the future into the concert hall.

Student CoLab: Forward Music Project

June 11th