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Continuing Education Courses

How to Ask for Money: Advocating For Your Students, Your Program, and Yourself


June 11-June 12, 2022

Course Code



1 Graduate Credits


$365, due in full with registration


Money doesn’t solve everything, but it helps! This course gives a brief overview of school finance, including school budgets, activity accounts, parent club accounts, community donations, and programs such as Title I. Course participants will then work with the instructor in the larger class, small group, and individually to work on plans and proposals for equipment and services that benefit their students and programs.

A special focus will be taken on techniques for music teachers to both advocate and negotiate for themselves and their programs and shift to a mindset that “there is always money somewhere.”

Finally, some budget-saving techniques and tips will be shared to help best spend the dollars that we already have.

Upon completion of the course, participants will have access to sample financial request scripts and proposals.


Chat Session




Required Text(s)

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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Don Stinson

Don Stinson is the director of bands at Joliet Central High School, only the fifth director in the band’s 110-year history. A Joliet native, Don has the distinct pleasure of leading a program that serves a diverse population in socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds. Joliet’s nickname is “The City of Champions,” derived from the numerous awards and accolades earned by the band, including National Championships judged by John Philip Sousa, presidential performances, and numerous state and national performances. The band has appeared nineteen times at the prestigious University of Illinois Superstate Festival, including fourteen performances as honor band/honor band selection. In 2020, the band was invited to perform on stage at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center in New York as a solo act. Stinson earned an associate degree from Joliet Junior College, a Bachelor of Music Education degree at VanderCook, an MMEd degree at Northern Illinois University, a Masters in Education Leadership Degree and the University of St. Francis, and is a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification teacher. He holds five Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association. In 2019 he received the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award from the Quinlan and Fabish Music Company. In 2021 he was named one of Yamaha’s 40 Under 40 Music Educators and is a 2021 winner of the Dr. William P. Foster Project Community Development Award. He is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster’s Fraternity, the National Band Association, the American School Band Directors Association, and the Illinois Music Educators Association. Don hosts the music education podcast The Bandmasters Podcast. He is the author of High Needs, Monumental Successes: Understanding: Teaching Music to Low-Income and Underserved Students, available from GIA Publications. In addition, he is the president and founder of Legacy Fine Arts Inc. NFP, a not-for-profit that provides lessons, mentoring and programs for underserved youth. For more information, please visit
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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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