Grace Weber has learned a lot and met a lot of people since moving out of Milwaukee for her career. That’s why she started the Music Lab—to share her professional knowledge and connections through a program for Milwaukee youth that gives them real-world insight into the music industry and a space where conversation, collaboration, friendship, inspiration and creation can occur.
Grace Weber’s Music Lab has hosted locally and nationally-known music acts like WebsterX and Jamila Woods for an immersive music education experience. Once a month, high school students from the Greater Milwaukee area are invited to Radio Milwaukee’s performance space to participate after school for free.
Watch the video below to learn how Grace Weber’s Music Lab works and what it means to the students.
The Music Lab kicks off with an interview with the special guest artist. Past guests have ranged from poet Aja Monet to producers Nate Fox, Nico Segal, and Peter Cottontail of The Social Experiment and occasionally, Grace Weber herself. They share their journeys into the music industry and how they found their personal sound and style. Then, students are encouraged to ask the artists questions.
After the interview, students have the opportunity to sing, rap, recite, dance or express their creativity in any other way in an open mic session in front of their peers. They’re free to perform new material or works-in-progress and they get direct feedback on their performance and music from the special guests.
“This place has given me so much sort of bravery to go up on stage and perform,” said Tony, a freshman at Marquette High School. He attended his first lab when he was in eighth grade. “What keeps me coming back is the amazing guest artists and just how nice everybody is.”
“This environment is so, I don’t wanna say rare, but I do wanna say rare,” Tony said with a smile.
The final lab of 2018 featured Milwaukee sibling duo SistaStrings. They closed out the evening with a live performance and stuck around for any lingering questions students might have.
The Music Lab usually takes place over the school year on the last Friday of the month. It will pick back up in 2019 with sessions on the following dates: January 25, February 22, March 29, April 26 and May 31. RSVP for the next music lab here.