Vander Cook Sign 1 1

Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Spring 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Musical Theatre Preparation and Production


February 12-May 3, 2024

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits*


$1,125 is due in full with registration. A $15 Early Bird Discount will be applied until January 14.


Musical Theatre Preparation and Production is designed for music educators who direct their school musical. Musical directors of all levels (elementary, middle school, high school, community theatre) will benefit from this course. This practical course will incorporate a step-by-step guide in planning one’s show. 

This course covers the necessary steps needed to direct a successful show, including:

  • Selecting your musical 
  • Creating a budget, fundraising
  • The audition process
  • The rehearsal process: calendar, acting techniques, music rehearsal
  • Set design, costuming and stage makeup
  • Parent communication and advertising
  • Tech elements including sound and lighting
  • Opening night

Discussion questions will be posted weekly for all to share ideas and suggestions related to different topics in musical theatre preparation, navigating speed bumps, and tips for ensuring a successful production. 

The final project combines course material from throughout the session so directors will have all the tools needed in a condensed format to present to administration to ‘make your case’ to bring quality musical theatre to your school community. 

*Students enrolled in the MMEd degree program at VanderCook may register for this course at the 500-level through the student portal. Please contact Dean Sinclair at [email protected] if academic advising is needed.


Chat Session

This course is asynchronous.



Required Text(s)

Every participant will need a script or perusal script of the show they are preparing for this course. Please contact the instructor for assistance.

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).


Sarah Giordano headshot

Sarah Giordano

Sarah Giordano teaches the graduate level Secondary General Music Methods 6-12 and graduate and undergraduate Musical Theatre Methods Courses at VanderCook College of Music. She is also active in the VanderCook MECA program, presenting in various choral and musical theatre courses. She consistently serves as a choral clinician, adjudicator and accompanist. Ms. Giordano earned a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in choral music education from VanderCook College of Music. Ms. Giordano teaches general music, conducts the choirs and directs the musical at Jackson Middle School in Villa Park. In 2018 the Jackson Concert Choir was selected to perform at the IMEC All-State Music Convention. Beyond the classroom, Ms. Giordano has a passion for musical theatre. She directs and serves as music director and vocal director with various youth theatre programs in the Chicago suburbs. Recent youth theatre productions directed by Giordano include Frozen JR, High School Musical JR, Zombies the Musical (virtual musical), Getting to Know…Oklahoma, Shrek The Musical JR, Elf JR, The Pirates of Penzance, and Godspell. Mainstage productions include Spamalot, Guys and Dolls, The Bridges of Madison County, Hairspray, Joseph…Dreamcoat, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Logo 2022 Dark 1
3140 South Federal Street
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.

© 2024 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
Scroll to Top