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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


First Steps in Music Certification Course


July 29-August 2, 2024

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,125 is due in full with registration. A $15 Early Bird Discount will be applied until February 16.


Course hours: This course will meet from 8:00AM-5:00PM central time daily at VanderCook College of Music.


All people are born with the potential to become musical. With inappropriate or limited musical experiences in the early years, children consistently lose their intuitions for thinking tunes, feeling rhythms, and responding to expressiveness in music. This lively course will provide a bridge from research to practice by demonstrating how a “natural” curriculum rich in repertoire of traditional children’s songs, rhymes, games, and dances can develop young children’s musical aptitude.

The First Steps in Music curriculum is designed to prepare children to become musical in three ways:
1. Tuneful – to have tunes in their heads and learn how to coordinate their voices to those tunes.
2. Beatful – to feel the pulse of music and how that pulse is grouped in either 2s or 3s.
3. Artful – to be moved by music in the many ways music can elicit a feelingful response.

A model of parents and children playing together in the years from birth to age 3 will be presented as well as a curriculum for 3 – 8 year old children in classroom settings. Participants can receive certification in First Steps in Music by the Feierabend Association for Music Education.


Chat Session

None - this course meets in person.



Required Text(s)


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).


Lillie Feierabend

Lillie is known for her work with young children and instilling a love of music within them. She has been an early childhood and general music educator for over thirty years and was a conductor for the Connecticut Children’s Chorus for eighteen. She has twice been honored with her respective district’s Teacher of the Year Award for her inclusive and innovative music programs, and in 2008 also received the Outstanding Elementary Music Educator Award from the Connecticut Music Educators Association. She is a frequent clinician at local, state and national conferences, and has presented over two hundred sessions on music and movement development. She conducts regional honors choirs and teaches weeklong workshops around the country including Anderson University (IN), Gordon College (MA), Silver Lake College (WI), and the University of Hartford (CT). Over the course of her career, Lillie has mentored twenty-three student teachers and will forever be grateful for the opportunity. Lillie is a founding and lifetime member of FAME. She is also a member of NafME, OAKE, CMEA (Connecticut Music Educators Association), and ACDA, where she served as the National Children’s Honor Choir Chair for the 2010 Conference. She is a member and former president of KESNE (Kodaly Educators of Southern New England) and President Elect of the regional chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international organization which supports and promotes excellence in education. While Lillie taught First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege as they evolved, she became an endorsed Teacher Trainer in both curriculums in 2012.
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Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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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