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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Spring 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Keep On Going: Enjoy Teaching No Matter What!


February 13-May 5, 2023

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,065 is due in full with registration. A $15 Late Fee will be added beginning February 13.


This course is a practical, reflective, and community-building educational experience based on the classroom practices and professional development presentations from GRAMMY Music Educator and 7-time Teacher of the Year, Mickey Smith, Jr.


Grammy music educator award


KEEP ON GOING: Enjoy Teaching No Matter What is a study of sound Mindset, Management, & Motivation that centers around what Mickey Smith calls the Teaching-Triad. This Teaching-Triad helps educators develop the ability to identify, research, and explain the motives behind the strategies that teachers employ in their classrooms. In this course, educators will have the opportunity to discuss and study meaningful topics that can help them engage, educate, and elevate every learner to excellence while at the same time create a sound quality of life, as well as a renewed professional fulfillment that creates a sound one hundred and eighty days (SOUND180) of classroom instruction and harmony. Divided into three parts—The Sound, The Stage, and The Spectator—KEEP ON GOING is a course that will take you on a journey from internal self-reflection to outward expressions (Sonority) of what it means to be a sound adult for the children we teach in today’s classrooms, and to operate with the significance, resilience, and brilliance necessary for the challenges of this unprecedented era of teaching. 


This course will address topics such as:

  • I Am Who? (Authenticity & Transparency in Teaching)
  • Pivotal Moments & Teachable Moments
  • It’s Only a Crisis
  • Teachers Are NOT Heroes 
  • Why NOT Teach?
  • What Teaching Really Is (Trust in Teaching)
  • Don’t Start Standard
  • Win By Ten
  • First Days Lasting Ways
  • Creating a Teacher M.A.P. (Management Action Plan)
  • What My Wife Taught Me About Teaching 
  • Healthy Habits, Boundaries & Balance for a SOUND180
  • What’s Your “Sound-Quality?”
  • Compose Your Legacy “Song” 
  • The “Sound” of Teaching

The course will consist of reading, discussions, visioneering, virtual chat sessions, supplemental material, and practical projects to work for both your personal and professional development. Developing vision, intentionality, and consistency to keep on going starts with having a plan, applying the strategies in this course into your classroom, and reflecting on the journal questions in this course to ensure that KEEP ON GOING: Enjoy Teaching No Matter What goes beyond simply being a course you take to becoming an experience for positively transforming and balancing how you live and work.


Important Information:

Non-music educators are also invited and welcome to register for this course. This course is open to everyone, and it applies to all teachers no matter what they teach. There are no pre-requisites.

Participants must attend a minimum of 4 out of 7 online Zoom Class sessions. Dates for Zoom classes are the following Mondays, 6:00-7:00 pm Central Time: February 13, February 20, March 6, March 20, April 3, April 24, May 1.


Chat Session

Attend a minimum of 4 out of 7 online Zoom Class sessions. Dates for Zoom classes are the following Mondays, 6:00-7:00 pm Central Time: February 13, February 20, March 6, March 20, April 3, April 24, May 1.



Required Text(s)

KOG: Enjoy Teaching No Matter What by Mickey Smith Jr. (Available through Amazon).


Supplemental readings, web links and/or videos will be provided by the instructor

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).


Mickey Smith Jr. 1

Mickey Smith Jr

GRAMMY Music Educator Award Recipient, Mickey Smith Jr. hails from a forgotten community in the Bayou State of Louisiana and now stands on phenomenal stages. As an EDUCATOR-ENCOURAGER, international speaker, saxophonist, author, and master development coach for elementary and middle school band directors, he is committed to encouraging and equipping all educators with the tools to Discover Their Sound of significance and Keep On Going with resilience to create a SOUND180 days of school. Smith provides specialized speaking services for both corporate and educational clients who are ready to engage, educate, and elevate every audience member to excellence. Whether the message is being shared in a School District, a Conference, In-Person or Virtually, Smith believes that every child is simply one SoundAdult away from discovering their own sound of success and that educators still have the power to create a shift in the thoughts and perspectives of our next and best. and, Mickey’s motivational mixture of music & message teaches people how to reach people with consistency, intention, and strategy. GRAMMY Music Educator Award Recipient and Educator-Encourager Mickey Smith Jr. is a speaker, musician, and author who specializes in helping all teachers succeed over frustration and fatigue. Mickey’s SOUND180 principles benefit teachers of all content areas with a focus on: -Self Management & Mental Health -Classroom Management and, -Student Behavior Management KEEP ON GOING & SEE THE SOUND at

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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