CSU Spur Music Lab
Community-based music workshops and performances
CSU Spur MusicLab is a free, community-based, and culturally relevant music outreach program that provides elemental music education workshops and performance opportunities for learners of all ages with a focus on beginner and amateur musicianship. Doors are open to all levels of musicians, but no previous music experience is required to enjoy this musical community.
Spur MusicLab activities include:
- Group Workshops on Ukulele, Guitar, Piano, Voice, Drums and Percussion.
- Music History and Appreciation Sessions
- Audio Production & Composition Workshops
- Spur Open Mic Performances by guest artists, student ensembles, workshop participants and any other community members looking for a place to perform!
MusicLab takes place monthly at CSU Spur on 2nd Saturdays
Music activities are also connected to the monthly themes of the Spur Campus to provide cross-curricular music education. Fall semester themes include:
- October 14: Inventions in Music with Guest Artist Kid Astronaut
- November 11: Air & Music with Guest Artist Venus Cruz and El Sistema Colorado
- December 9: Celebrating Healthy Holidays with Guest Artist Kayla Marque!
Register for Workshops and Open Mic Sessions
A Collaboration between CSU Music Education and Take Note Colorado
Led by CSU Music Education students, and supervised by licensed Colorado music educators, the CSU Spur Music Lab collaborates with local guest performing artists from Take Note Colorado to provide culturally responsive music lessons and activities. Previous Guest Artists include Kid Astronaut, 2MX2, Pink Hawks, and Lolita Castañeda.
CSU Spur Music Lab works to provide meaningful musical experiences in underserved communities, celebrating diverse musical cultures, and empowering all participants to engage in active musical lives. Spur also strives to prepare music educators with culturally responsive teaching frameworks and experiences to successfully adapt to a variety of teaching environments in today’s public and community music programs.
Music Lab Faculty
CSU Spur Music Lab FAQ
What is the schedule?
- 11 a.m.: Grand Welcome with Guest Artists and Participants
- 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: MusicLab Workshops and Student Performances
- 1-2 p.m.: CSU Spur Music Lab Show - Open Mic & Jam with Guest Artists
- Sign up here! English – Spanish
How much does it cost?
How do we get there?
- Individual Visits - By personal transportation or with other visiting programs.
- School / Community Music Programs
- Request a bus through your district, recommended one month in advance
- Complete the School or Community Program attendance form
- Complete the CSU vendor documents for chaperone pay
- Sponsored by Take Note Colorado and Colorado State University Music Education Department.
- CSU students interested in teaching at Music Lab should look for application submission deadlines for the following Spur season.
Upcoming Guest Artists
OCTOBER 14 @ MUSIC LAB: Kid Astronaut is a time and dimension traveling artist making futuristic R&B. Kid Astronaut (@kidastronavt) was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. His music is a heartfelt mixture of soul, pop, and engaging storytelling through lyrics that are an honest and revealing look into the soul of this adventurous songwriter. He is also the Co-founder of CONSCIOUS CREATIVES (@conscious.creatives), a Denver-based artist collective that believes in the idea "you are the creator of your reality, why not make it great?" linktr.ee/kidastronavt
Photo by @luckyjayded
From jazz to soul, hip hop to Afro-Latin, Denver-based vocalist Venus Cruz has opened for artists such as Gregory Porter, Hiatus Kaiyote, Black Thought of The Roots, Meshell Ndegeocello, Saul Williams, Zap Mama, Al Green, Guru, Vieux Farka Toure, Tinariwen, Big Freedia, GoGo Penguin, Corey Henry and Mark De Clive Lowe, to name a few.
Her projects include What Young Men Do, Super Distant Boyfriend, among others. She's opened for Grammy-nominated artists Hiatus Kaiyote and Emily King. In 2016, Venus opened for Grammy winner Gregory Porter at The Chautauqua Amphitheater in Boulder and played at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and City Park Jazz. In 2014, Cruz organized, directed, and performed in the Billie Holiday Centennial Celebration at Denver’s Union Station, bringing in a record performance crowd for the space. Cruz also performed at the Prince Tribute at Red Rocks. She's a yearly performer at the UMS festival in Denver.
In 2019, Venus played the part of freedom fighter “Lola Devine” in the futuristic multimedia project, "The Five Pointers," created by artist Thomas “Detour” Evans for Red Bull Music. Venus has won several Westword Magazine music awards, and was a longtime host of the popular radio show “Jazz Odyssey” on 89.3 KUVO, where she interviewed music luminaries such as Taylor McFerrin, Derrick Hodge, Dave King (The Bad Plus), Dennis Ham (Thundercat) and many others.”
Kayla Marque is a singer-songwriter who was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. In 2020 Marque released Brain Chemistry, a transcendent double album that dives deep into themes of self-love, trauma, and mental health all through the concept of examining the Right Brain and Left Brain. In 2021, Kayla Marque’s side project “The Grand Alliance” with Sur Ellz (Khalil Arcady) and Crl Crrll (Carl Carrell) released its funky, genre-bending self-titled debut The Grand Alliance. As the program manager at Diversify the Stage, Kayla Marque is looking to the future. Her next solo project promises to continue in a more playful energy, exploring themes of beauty, pleasure, and fantasy, while still grounded by the raw honesty that ties all her music together. kaylamarque.com/
Past Guest Artists
FEBRUARY 11 @ MUSIC LAB: Kid Astronaut is a time and dimension traveling artist making futuristic R&B. Kid Astronaut (@kidastronavt) was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. His music is a heartfelt mixture of soul, pop, and engaging storytelling through lyrics that are an honest and revealing look into the soul of this adventurous songwriter. He is also the Co-founder of CONSCIOUS CREATIVES (@conscious.creatives), a Denver-based artist collective that believes in the idea "you are the creator of your reality, why not make it great?" linktr.ee/kidastronavt
Photo by @luckyjayded
MARCH 11 @ MUSIC LAB: Lolita Castañeda is a rising artist Mexican-American Latin pop artist who burst onto the streaming scene in 2018. Lolita combines a variety of compositional elements to form her unique and authentic sound. Artist, activist, and advocate for the arts, Lolita facilitates and encourages people, organizations, and companies who have a humanitarian objective. To date, Lolita has amassed hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify, including her recent release, ‘I'm Not Waiting.' Lolita Castañeda
APRIL 8 @ MUSIC LAB: 2MX2 is a Latin Pop/HipHop group out of Colorado. They are known for their modern renditions of traditional Latin music into danceable urban rhythms that explore topics such as immigration, health, education reform and other matters of our time. Band members are Owen Trujillo (aka 01), who was born in Zacatecas, Mexico; and Denver natives Juice ET Hugo, Lolita, DMD, and Kenny O. 2MX2
May 13 @ MUSIC LAB: Pink Hawks are master-level world musicians garnering comparison to sonic innovators such as Fela Kuti’s Afro-beat and Mulatu Astatke’s Ethiopiques Jazz. "Sun Ra's melodically off-the-rails piano playing, and the languid, sonically adventurous atmospheres of Yo La Tengo." (Tom Murphy, Westword) Put on your dancing pants as Pink Hawks set the floor on fire. Pink Hawks