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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Spring 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Beyond Measure: “UnGrading” Your Music Classroom


February 12-May 3, 2024

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,125 is due in full with registration. A $15 Early Bird Discount will be applied until January 14.


Our traditional system of grading in education is fraught with bias and leans heavily on extrinsic motivation tactics. Traditional grading is usually light on description and heavy on comparison. Rarely does a single letter or number convey the complexities that it is meant to summarize. Our traditional use and understanding of assessment and grading in education need to shift from comparisons & labels to self-assessment & growth.

This course will examine the history, use, and purpose of assessment and grading. We will look at research and reflect on our own methodologies thinking deeply about equity, effectiveness, and our own grading practices. We will imagine and construct new assessment methods that serve the most important people in the room – the students. Please join us for a course that will dismantle some historically bad practices regarding grading and replace them with equitable ideas that will transform not only the way you teach but also the relationships you have with your students.


Chat Session

Two Zoom Meetings: Zoom Meeting #1 - Wed, Feb 21 from 7-8 PM (CST) Zoom Meeting #2 - Wednesday, April 24 from 7-8 PM (CST)



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).


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Chris Gleason

Chris Gleason is the Art and Creativity Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. He recently concluded twenty-five years as an instrumental music educator in East Troy, LaCrosse, and most recently Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. He is the 2017 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, 2017 and 2022 semi-finalist for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award and the first Wisconsin teacher to be named a finalist for National Teacher of the Year in 50 years. He was recently selected as one of five educators for the prestigious 2022 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence by the NEA Foundation as well as a Top 50 Finalist for the 2021 Global Teacher Prize sponsored by the Varkey Foundation and UNESCO. Mr. Gleason was selected from 8,000 nominations from 121 countries around the world. He was recently honored with the Wisconsin Badger’s Outstanding Educators Award and the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from his alma mater, UW-Eau Claire where he earned his BME degree in 1997. Gleason earned his Masters Degree from UW-LaCrosse in 2002 and is a Conn-Selmer Education Clinician In 2009 Mr. Gleason created the ComMission Possible Project which to date has commissioned new works for band by renowned composers such as Samuel R. Hazo, Michael Sweeney, Brian Balmages, John Mackey, Alex Shapiro, Pierre LaPlante, Andrew Boysen Jr, and Michael Markowski. He has been guest conductor of numerous camps and festivals across the country, including the Music For All National Band Camp. He has presented workshops at the VanderCook College of Music, NAfME National In-Service Conference, Midwest Clinic. He is the past-chair of the Wisconsin Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) Committee and the Wisconsin State Middle Level Honors Project. In 2017-2018 he served as an Engagement Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction delivering presentations at universities, school districts and conferences across Wisconsin.
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Chicago, IL 60616-3731
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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.

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