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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Conversational Solfege Levels 1 and 2


June 5-June 16, 2023

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,080 is due in full with registration.


This course is closed for registration as of 6/6/23.

This course will run June 5, 6, 9 & June 12-16 9:00am to 1:00pm CST. This is a completely synchronous course with a live moderator and daily class discussions. Attendance is required for all sessions.

Conversational Solfege ™ is a pedagogical method to be used with children who have already developed tuneful, beautiful, and artful skills and are ready to develop a deeper understanding of rhythm and melody. Created by leading music educator, Dr. John Feierabend, Conversational Solfege develops the comprehension of music through the use of rhythm and solfege syllables aurally, at a conversational level, then gradually evolves into written music notation. Through carefully sequenced activities, Conversational Solfege enables students to joyfully assimilate the skills and content necessary to be musically literate. Through various techniques, Conversational Solfege allows the acquisition of musical reading and writing, dictation, improvisation, and composition in an intuitive manner. This course is applicable to general music, choral, and instrumental teachers.

Dr. John Feierabend

FeierabendJohn web

Dr. John Feierabend is considered one of the leading authorities on music and movement development in childhood. He is a Professor Emeritus of Music Education at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford and is a past President of the Organization of American Kodály Educators. He has given presentations in all 50 states and many other countries. He is the author of over 70 books, recordings, and DVDs, several of which served as the inspiration for the award winning PBS children’s television series Lomax: The Hound of Music.

Dr. Feierabend has been honored as a Lowell Mason Fellow by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME); named University Educator of the Year by the Connecticut Music Educators Association; received the outstanding alumni award from Wayne State University; received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Organization of American Kodály Educators, the James Bent Award for outstanding achievement in scholarship and creativity from the University of Hartford, and was the first U.S. recipient of the LEGO Prize, an international award given annually to “an individual who has made a distinctive contribution to the betterment of children.”

Dr. Feierabend continues to be committed to collecting, preserving and teaching the diverse folk music of our country and using that folk music as a bridge to help children understand and enjoy classical music. Dr. Feierabend’s creativity and research has resulted in two music methods; First Steps in Music, a music and movement program for infants through elementary-aged children and Conversational Solfege, a music literacy method suitable for elementary through college-aged student.

Dr. Feierabend’s teaching has provided thousands of teachers and their students with the materials and techniques to help build community through music by evoking enthusiastic participation of all people. To that end his approach strives for all people to become tuneful, beatful and artful through research based and developmentally appropriate pedagogies while promoting the use of quality literature. In the summer of 2012 a group of dedicated and like-minded educators honored Dr. Feierabend’s 40 plus years of teaching and research with the formation of the Feierabend Association for Music Education. For more information go to: and

The full list of Dr. Feierabend’s publications is available through his publisher, GIA Publications.



Chat Session

June 5, 6, 9 & June 12-16 9:00am to 1:00pm CST. This course is an online, synchronous course with a live moderator and daily class discussions.



Required Text(s)

Required Text: Conversational Solfege, Level 1 Teacher’s Manual (Purple Book)

Optional Text: Conversational Solfege Level 2 Teacher’s Manual Teacher’s Manual (Orange Book)

Optional Text: Feierabend Fundamentals: History, Philosophy and Practice. John M. Feierabend, GIA Publications, Inc.

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).


Maurek Emily

Emily Maurek

Emily Maurek received a BS degree in Music Education and a minor in journalism from Ball State University in 1995, where she also was an Undergraduate Fellow in Music History. In 2004 she completed a Masters’ Degree in Music Technology from Indiana University and earned the Chancellor’s Scholar Award for the Department of Fine Arts. Since 1998, she has taught Kindergarten through fourth grade general music at the Lake Central School Corporation in St. John, Indiana. Emily has presented conference sessions in conjunction with the Indiana Music Educators’ Association (IMEA), Feierabend Association for Music Education (FAME), and the Wisconsin Music Education Association (WMEA) and Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). In addition to hosting many student teachers, she served on the state of Indiana Fine Arts Standards in Music revision committee in 2018. Emily is an endorsed FAME Teacher Trainer in First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege and is FAME Past President and Executive Director. Emily resides in Valparaiso, Indiana with her husband, John and their son Max.

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.
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