Vander Cook Sign 1 1

Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Alternative String Styles: A Comprehensive Guide to Playing & Teaching


June 5-July 28, 2023

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits*


$1,080 is due in full with registration*


Add rock to your Bach. Put some swing in your strings. Get rhythm in your bows. Hear the news about the blues and mix a little fiddle in the middle. Spend eight weeks with jazz violinist Randy Sabien exploring the exciting possibilities for bowed string instruments. Learn to authentically interpret a variety of contemporary musical styles, improvise, understand chord symbols and voicings, meet the rhythm section (drums, bass, piano/guitar) and most importantly how to share these skills with your students. Rosin the bow – here we go!

*Students enrolled in the MMEd degree program at VanderCook may register for this course at the 500-level through the student portal. Please contact Dean Sinclair at [email protected] if academic advising is needed.



Chat Session

Mondays and Wednesdays 7-8:30PM CST (Required)



Required Text(s)

Required Texts:

Jazz Philharmonic and Jazz Philharmonic: Second Set (Sabien/Phillips – Alfred

Music) Teacher’s Manuals with Play Along CD/Mp3 download

Individual instrument book (violin, viola, cello, bass) might be useful

Fiddler’s Philharmonic (Phillips/Dabczynski – Alfred Music) Book 1 – chose the

book for the instrument you play – (violin, viola, cello, bass)

Teacher’s Manual – optional

Supplemental material supplied as needed by instructor



“The Blues Scales” Dan Greenblatt (Sher Music)

“Jazz Fiddle Wizard” Martin Norgaard (Mel Bay)

“American Fiddle Method” Volume 2 Brian Wicklund (Mel Bay)

Learning Platform Information - Online Courses Only

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

The evening  before your class begins, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. 

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.

More information about Schoology can be found at

Please see specific software/hardware requirements in the course description.

Online course grades are available within two weeks of the course(s) completion.  If you need a transcript, please CLICK HERE to access the online transcript request form. For a faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).


Sabien Randy 1

Randy Sabien

Randy has over 40 years of performing experience as a contemporary violinist from touring as singer/songwriter Jim Post’s sideman, recording with Greg Brown, appearing on Austin City Limits with Kate Wolf, guest on Prairie Home Companion, shows with Corky Siegel, to leading his own bands often featuring triple fiddles. Founded the string department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1978 then thirty years later headed the string department at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. He is the author of the ground breaking jazz method for strings “Jazz Philharmonic” published by Alfred Music. He has recorded a dozen albums which are available online at

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2023 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
Scroll to Top