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become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Fall 2020 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Jazz Composition: Theory & Practice


September 21-December 13, 2020

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,065, due in full with registration


In this course, we will examine writing in jazz styles ranging from the blues to fusion. You’ll learn how to use motivic patterns and guide tones to create great melodies, and work with tonal and modal harmony. We will also cover harmonic techniques such as inversions, pedal point, constant structures and reharmonization. Arranging topics such as song form, intros, interludes and endings will also be covered. Students will have a variety of writing exercises to improve melodic, harmonic and rhythmic effectiveness, as well as creating their own compositions. Music notation software of your choice is required for submitting assignments.


Chat Session

Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. CST (optional)



Required Text(s)

Jazz Composition:
Theory and Practice

by Ted Pease (Berklee Press)

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).


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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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