A group of budding musicians at Methodist Children’s Home were able to get lessons and tips from some of Baylor’s best performers during the MCH Music Workshop on April 29. The workshop, which took place on the Waco campus, was set up by MCH recreation staff.
“This workshop is purposed to boost musical ability, confidence and stage presence, particularly for our students participating in choir, drumline and praise team,” said Jill Sims, recreation coordinator. “It is also designed to give the students a chance to interact with college students who are dedicated to their studies in music.”
MCH had 22 students participate in the workshop led by members of Baylor’s VirtuOSO acapella group, as well as undergraduate and graduate music students. Sims said the workshop was also meant to prepare the students for the upcoming “Collaborate Concert” on May 11 where students from choir, drumline, praise band, praise dance and the cheer team will perform as a group on the Waco campus.
“Collaborate is a concert that was birthed out of the idea of creating a space of community and support among the performing arts students at MCH,” Sims said. “Rather than have competition between the groups, we wanted to provide a space where the students could come together and create art built by the whole community. At the beginning of the semester, songs were chosen and distributed among each of the groups.”
The workshop was organized into individual tracks for vocal, percussion and guitar. Each group met for three session to hone their skills. In the vocal track, students worked on vocal basics, harmony and blending, and stage presence and performance. Percussion students first focused on drums used in drumline, then were introduced to other percussion instruments such as cymbals, chimes, rain sticks and the triangle. In the third session they worked on their contribution to songs for the Collaborate concert. Guitar students first learned about basics in guitar, then moved to reading and playing with chord charts, followed by lessons on performance and worship leadership.
At the end of the sessions, the groups came together for closing “jam session” where teachers and students, totaling 29 people, performed their Collaborate concert songs together.
“The workshop was a tremendous success!” Sims said. “Students from all tracks were excitedly telling me throughout the day the things that they were learning in their classes. We were also able to open the workshop up to a limited number of students outside of our programs and these students asked to join our programs at the end of the workshop.”