Working together… building fine arts for the community and beyond.
Paula Melton, Director
Fine arts develop human potential. SIUC Community Outreach - COLA, founded by Paula Melton, is a visionary partnership among SIUC School of Music, public schools, businesses and communities.
This innovative program is creating and enhancing fine arts education in communities regionally and nationally. Validated for its success, the curriculum and approach to string development was “recognized for excellence” by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and became the Illinois State model for string education in 2005.
A 501(c) 3 organization, SIU Community Arts Outreach serves the cultural needs of diverse communities. SIU Community Arts Outreach is committed to establishing quality, accessible performing and visual arts programs, promoting the enjoyment and understanding of music, jazz, art and musical theater for all ages.
SIU Community Arts Outreach offers the finest comprehensive fine arts instruction for children and adults. Pre-school instruction includes Kindermusik as well as pre-school music and art classes. Suzuki (see SIUC Suzuki School) instruction is available for violin, viola and cello. Traditional instruction is available for piano, strings, brass, woodwind and voice.
Music theater and art programs are available. Private, semi-private and affordable group lessons are given on the campus of SIU, Carbondale New School – Carbondale, IL, Trinity Christian School – Carbondale, IL, Unity Christian School – Energy, IL, Tri-C elementary – Carterville, IL, Herrin Elementary School- Herrin, IL, Giant City School – Carbondale, IL and Cape Hatteras, NC.
Whether students are interested in extensive college preparatory instruction or simply learning for the love of the arts, SIU Community Arts Outreach provides the finest arts education in music, jazz, drama and art from birth through retirement.
Registration forms and more information for SIU School of Music Community Outreach classes may be found here.
Other SIU Community Arts Outreach programs include Civic Orchestra, Junior Orchestra and the Southern Illinois Children's Choir. In cooperation with Carbondale Elementary District #95, SIU Community Arts Outreach founded the John Thomas String Program in southern Illinois.
The video below is from one of our recent student recitals hosted at SIU Carbondale: