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Fall 2020 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Habits of a Successful & Significant Band Director


September 21-December 13, 2020

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,065, due in full with registration


Band directors must be knowledgeable educators who can provide instruction that will help students fall in love with music and build skills that will create artists. Through this professional course, directors will closely examine the nature and significance of music and music learning and the critical aspects of teaching strategy development.

Topics include: The Components of Playing, Other Things We’re Responsible for Teaching, The Teaching Inventory Database, Teaching Music and Musical Concepts, Organization, Management, and the Band Director Outline, Assessments in a Performance-Based Class, Communication and Physical Energy, Who You Are as a Band Director, Creating Vision and Goals for Professional Success, Quality of Life Issues for Band Directors, Leadership for All, and Leaving a Legacy.

The course is designed to provide the information necessary for band directors to make complex instructional decisions that connect theory, nuts-and-bolts practices and student achievement. Participants will have an opportunity to develop shared beliefs and align those beliefs with practices that work in the trenches. Based on years of best practices, this professional course offers a context for band directors to study, develop, share and learn effective methods of instruction to meet their student’s diverse interests and needs. This course WILL make you a better band director by helping you translate your intentions into actions!

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Clearly state and critically assess their own teaching strategies and evaluate how their current practices measure against quality instruction.

2. Develop a Teaching Inventory Database, which will transform daily instruction in the classroom (a lab for music making). The Components of Playing will be evaluated to address skills used during “fundamentals” time.

3. Build skills in both pedagogical and non-pedagogical areas and assess how they relate to the growth of critical strategies and practices – you’re a product of your experiences and you can only give away what you have.

4. Create and explore different and differentiated models of assessment in a performance-based class.

5. Use the Habits Synergy Model to address the five key practices of knowledge, communication, physical energy, heart energy and “who you are” as an educator.

6. Explore and create strategies that will build relationships with students in a meaningful way through creating a culture of excellence and social/emotional learning – we’re in the music and people business.

7. Build trusting relationships with students that show (1) I care about you (2) I believe you will be successful, and (3) I believe in your creativity and wonderment.

8. Exude a servitude attitude about music making.

9. Develop authentic music-making activities to increase engagement and motivation of students.

10. Set goals and action steps that will enhance instruction and also address “quality of life” issues.

11. Demonstrate the ability to use a variety of genres, including technology, to enhance teaching and learning.


Chat Session

Sept. 21, Nov. 2 & Dec. 7, plus a one-on-one collaborative session with the instructor.



Required Text(s)

Habits of a Successful Band Director
by Scott Rush
(GIA Publications)

Habits of a Significant Band Director
by Scott Rush
(GIA Publications)

Software/Hardware Requirements

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

Soon after you register, 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

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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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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