Improving Access to Arts Learning: Arts Infusion Initiative

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Northwestern University after-school Music Composition program at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) provides weekly sessions for residents at JTDC to engage and enrich their musical imaginations through music composition. We meet with two groups of residents: a younger, transient group (called “Houston”), and an older group who remain in JTDC until they are 17 (called “Omega”). Each group meets for 1.5 hours weekly to learn various musical skills and develop social/emotional skills by creating original music using GarageBand software on Macintosh computers. In addition, the Omega group is given the opportunity to practice their work during Saturday sessions in the computer lab; they are mentored one-on-one by Northwestern University volunteers (sponsored by the Northwestern University Center for Civic Engagement). The specific artistic learning outcomes for the participants are: 1. Students will create original music compositions using various technology skills. (Arts Making) 2. Students will develop basic appreciation of at least one other music genre or style outside of their own interests. (Making Connections) 3. Students will develop basic music technology vocabulary. (Arts Literacy) 4. Students will analyze, evaluate and critique peers’ and other music using a critical response process. (Interpretation and Evaluation) The specific social/emotional outcomes for the participants are: 1. Students will develop constructive listening and critique skills of their own and their peers’ music compositions (SEL #1) 2. Students will constructively analyze the (positive as well as negative) impact of different genres of music and lyrics (SEL #3) 3. Students will make choices in the lyrical content of their own music such that they reflect positive messages (SEL #2)
Effective start/end date6/1/138/1/14


  • Chicago Community Trust (C2013-00304)


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