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become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Classroom Content as Concert Stage Repertoire: Best Practices for the Intermediate Orchestra


June 5-July 28, 2023

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,080 is due in full with registration.


 Concert preparation can be perceived as the focus of orchestra class and the pressure to present concerts as well as prepare music for contest can interfere with a thoughtful pedagogical sequence. When the curtain goes up on a concert it is, in many ways, an aural and visual scrapbook of the technical and musical curriculum the students have experienced in your classroom. Choosing repertoire to both engage students and develop technical and musical skills is one of the most vital components of a well-designed curriculum. The intermediate or middle school orchestra experience solidifies not only skills necessary for success in high school and beyond, but also illuminates the ensemble as a social and artistic cohort. This period of skill development is crucial for preparing the technical and musical skills that will foster continued involvement in music in and beyond high school ensembles. With well-chosen repertoire, the time spent in instruction can propel technical development while developing literacy, ensemble skills, and musical sensitivity. This course will present strategies for teaching shifting, string crossings, sight-reading skills, minor tonality and advanced finger patterns, vibrato, rhythmic sensibility, and advanced bow strokes in a heterogeneous setting. Participants will acquire a basic understanding of fundamental principles of learning, and practice creating successful learning experiences that effectively change student thinking and behavior. The technical aspects of the curriculum are focused on violin, viola, cello and bass, however transfer of learning principles and adaptation of materials can be applicable to any instrument.

Chat sessions:

Mondays:        9-12 CST Synchronous Group meeting/Lecture and Discussion

Wednesdays:   9-12 CST 20-30-minute small group (2-3 depending on like teaching situation groupings) meetings with instructor for project work and planning.

Fridays: Fridays will be reserved for office hour zoom in and individual work on collaborative projects and course capstone. Expect to work on the collaboration and capstone project 3-6 hours per week.

  • NOTE: we will have synchronous meetings on July 24, 26, 28 from 9-12CST


Chat Session

Mondays: 9-12 CST and Wednesdays: 9-12 CST. Please see "Chat sessions" in Overview for a description of the chat sessions.



Required Text(s)

  1. Mastery for Strings, Level One: A Longitudinal Sequence of Instruction for School Orchestras, Studio Lessons, and College Method Courses, William Dick and Laurie Scott, Alfred Music Publishers.
  2. Mastery for Strings, Level Two: Navigating the Fingerboard, William Dick and Laurie Scott, Alfred Music Publishers.
  3. Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensemble, Winifred Crock, William Dick, and Laurie Scott, Alfred Music Publishers  (Volume 2  for your chosen instrument, Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass).
  4. Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensemble, Winifred Crock, William Dick, and Laurie Scott, Alfred Music Publishers  (Volume 2 Piano Score).
  5. Pattern Play for Strings: A Sequential Introduction to Reading Music Parent/Teacher Volume, Winifred Crock, Forrester Press, Ballwin MO.
  6. Pattern Play for Strings: A Sequential Introduction to Reading Music Student, Winifred Crock, Forrester Press, Ballwin MO. (Volume #2 for your chosen instrument, Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass).

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).



Dr. Laurie Scott

Laurie Scott she serves as the director of The University of Texas String Project, named “String Project of the Year” in 2008 by the American String Teacher’s Association and the National String Project Consortium. Previous to this appointment, Dr. Scott served as professor of violin and viola and director of music education studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Dr. Scott was co-director of the Armadillo Suzuki Organization, the Austin Metropolitan Suzuki School, and the Texas Suzuki Tour Group. She holds a master’s degree in applied violin from the University of Nebraska, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Texas. Before moving to Texas in 1981, Dr. Scott taught in rural string programs in Nebraska and performed with the Omaha and Lincoln Symphonies and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra. As a music educator in Texas, Dr. Scott has served as an officer of the Texas chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association, taught for eight years for the Austin ISD at Lamar Middle School and Travis and McCallum High Schools, was co-conductor of the Austin Youth Symphony, and served as Region XVIII College Division Chair for the Texas Music Educator’s Association. Professor Scott was co-editor of the public school column in the American Suzuki Journal and was named chairman of the Suzuki in the Schools division of the 1998 International Teacher’s Conference. She has performed with the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin Orchestras. Dr. Scott has been the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award from the School of Music as well as the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin.

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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