Today the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, a recipient of operating support from the Arts and Education Council, launched SLSO SoundLab, a new four-part interactive video and activity series that allows children, families and teachers to create music and engage in the science of sound. The series was filmed in Powell Hall with SLSO musicians and at the homes of children in the St. Louis area.

SoundLab incorporates STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) along with social and emotional learning concepts across the series. Each of the four SLSO SoundLab videos is 15 minutes long, targeted to students in grades 3-8. The SLSO will host virtual watch parties of SLSO SoundLab for families each Saturday in February. SLSO SoundLab, which was first made available to teachers last month, has been adapted specifically for families for home viewing and is now available at no cost.

To celebrate the launch of SLSO SoundLab for Families, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will host four watch parties—one for each of the four SLSO SoundLab episodes each Saturday in February. Children ages 6 through 12 who complete SLSO SoundLab for Families activities can enter to win an SLSO On the Go experience. Contest rules and more information about the watch party are available at slso.org/family.

SLSO SoundLab, which was designed to fulfill Missouri and Illinois learning standards for music and science, first launched to teachers regionally in December 2020 with supplemental classroom materials. To date, more than 200 teachers across the greater St. Louis region representing more than 20,000 students have registered to use SLSO SoundLab. Teachers can continue to register for access to SLSO SoundLab for schools at slso.org/educationconcerts.

SLSO SoundLab is a collaboration and presented in partnership with Filament Theatre of Chicago, which helped develop scripts and produce the episodes; Breach, a St. Louis-based company that is providing free access to music software for teachers; and Gateway Music Outreach, long-time SLSO education partner whose students are featured throughout the project.

Gateway Music Outreach was founded by Angel and James McKay. James McKay will be recognized at the Arts and Education Council’s 2021 St. Louis Arts Awards as Art Educator of the Year. He is also the director of orchestras in the Jennings School District. You can learn more about McKay and the 2021 St. Louis Arts Awards here.