Teaching general music in the secondary setting is a unique position. General music classes cover a multitude of subjects, including (but never limited to!) teaching a choral ensemble, ukulele, music tech, class guitar, rock and jazz history, class piano and even composition. This course offers practical approaches and tools to ensure general music remains interesting and keeps your students engaged, using the National Standards for Music Education as a bedrock to preparation and planning. A variety of source materials will be cultivated to broaden student participation and excitement with a barrage of tips and tricks to add to your bag. Assignments will challenge you to explore and reflect on your own techniques, methods and teaching philosophies. A final unit project will be designed by each participant that demonstrates growth utilizing formative and summative assessments. 

Instructor: Sarah Giordano


Sarah Giordano earned a Bachelor's degree in instrumental music education from Eastern Illinois University and a Master’s degree in choral music education from VanderCook College of Music. Currently she teaches 6-8 general music, directs the choirs and the musical at Jackson Middle School in Villa Park, IL. She consistently serves as a choral clinician, adjudicator and accompanist.  During her tenure at Jackson she has served as team leader, department chairperson, and as a cooperating teacher for numerous student teachers.


Beyond the classroom, Sarah has a passion for musical theatre. She recently presented “No Auditorium? No Problem! Let’s Put On A Show!” at the 2016 Illinois Music Educators Conference. In addition to directing the musical at her own school, Sarah also music directs for several other children’s theatre organizations in the Chicago suburbs. Sarah works with BrightSide Theatre, Naperville’s only adult professional theatre company. Her roles with BrightSide Theatre include music director, conductor, vocal coach, and pit orchestra musician.



VanderCook Online is powered by Schoology (www.schoology.com). Through this learning management system, you'll be able to interact directly with your instructor, students in your classes, and members of the greater VanderCook Online community.

The summer online term officially begins on Monday, June 12. The week prior to June 12, you'll be added as a new Schoology user. Be on the lookout for an email from noreply@schoology.com or wfong@vandercook.edu with log-in instructions. Once you are given credentials, simply visit www.online.vandercook.edu to login. On the morning of June 12, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

You’ll have the opportunity to work at your own pace each week while completing assignments and posting responses to discussion questions. You’ll constantly be interacting with your instructor and classmates online, and working through new material each week. We know how crazy summer schedules can get, so our instructors try to make everything as flexible as possible!

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288