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Summer 2022 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Play Outside Of The Box: Developing a Non-Traditional Music Performing Ensemble


June 6-July 31, 2022

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,065, due in full with registration


As our students show increasing interest in music outside of the traditional Western music canon it is important to meet them with relevant and exciting music learning performing opportunities. It has become increasingly popular for school music program to include non-traditional ensembles like: Rock Band, Mariachi Band, World Percussion, Electronic Music Ensemble and more. It is important to think carefully about where these programs can contribute to the overall music and arts program in the school and to find ways to integrate them in performance and rehearsal with the other music and art programs in the school. Play Outside Of The Box: Developing a Non-Traditional Music Performing Ensemble will look at the tools needed to begin developing a non-tradtional music performing ensemble in schools with existing performing ensembles as well as schools with no existing performing ensembles. We will examine strategies to recruit students and begin creating music and having fun on day 1. We will also look at ways to build community within our ensembles as well as ways we can use our ensembles to strengthen the greater school community. This course will investigate ways to work with other programs in the school for collaborative projects and programs. Finally, we will look at overview strategies for arranging for traditional music ensembles and how we can maximize the success of every student involved regardless of experience or performance ability.


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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Zachary Himelhoch

Based in Nashville, TN, Zachary Himelhoch (MMEd ’16) is a world percussionist with specialization in Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Caribbean styles. He has performed with numerous artists including Andy Narell, Chance the Rapper, Lenny Castro, Etienne Charles, The Cool Kids, Daru Jones, Mark Walker and Dave Garfield at events throughout the country including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Lollapalooza, the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival Benefit Concert, Windsor Jazz Festival, and the Syracuse Jazz Festival. Prior to earning his master’s degree from VanderCook, Himelhoch earned his bachelor’s degree in instrumental performance from Columbia College Chicago. He has taught clinics and master classes in percussion at a number of venues including the Jim Lee Fine Arts Camp, Columbia College Chicago, Holly Middle School, and Mott Community College. In addition, he currently develops and teaches world percussion curriculum at the high school and middle school levels in Nashville Public Schools. Himelhoch owns and operates ZJH Percussion, a company providing instructional programs, presentations and private tutoring in all aspects of world percussion. ZJH Percussion, in collaboration with Columbia College Chicago’s Community Arts Partnership and the Music Institute of Chicago, served Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Parks District for over four years by providing culture and music education to underserved learners throughout the Chicago area. ZJH Percussion recently expanded to serve the greater Nashville area.
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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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