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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Late Spring 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Teaching and Learning Using GarageBand in the Music Classroom


March 25-May 3, 2024

Course Code



2 Graduate Credits


$750 is due in full with registration. A $15 Early Bird Discount will be applied until January 14.


GarageBand for Apple macOS and iOS remain excellent vehicles for teaching music through a digital audio workstation (DAW). Music learners can explore composition, arranging, film scoring, podcasting, sound design, live recording, and even take piano or guitar lessons with this powerful application. Few other applications can match GarageBand’s capacity to introduce students to a deeper understanding of modern music creation and provide them with opportunities to perform, connect, and respond to music. Teachers who take this course will learn the basics of navigating GarageBand, become proficient with capturing and manipulating sound in a variety of ways while using the application, and generate several engaging and educational lessons to implement in the secondary music classroom.


Technology requirements: Apple computer running macOS Sonoma 14.1 and GarageBand 10.4.9 or later required; an Apple iPad running iOS 17.1 or later and GarageBand 2.3.15 is also highly recommended. Although GarageBand is available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, they are not recommended devices for this course. Studio headphones are recommended; however, earbuds are also acceptable. The “Logic Remote” app for iPad is also suggested, but not required.


Chat Session

Class members and instructors will meet on Zoom for a weekly one-hour chat session. The dates and times for sessions will be determined by class consensus within the first days of the term. Students are required to attend Zoom sessions.



Required Text(s)


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).


Palese Rick

Rick Palese

Adjunct MECA Faculty

Rick Palese is currently the director of instrumental music at KIPP Austin Collegiate in Austin, Texas, where he teaches Steel Band, Wind Ensemble, Classical Guitar, Modern Band and co-sponsors the Mariachi Club. Prior to his role at Collegiate, he served as a lecturer of instrumental music education in the School of Music at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where he taught woodwind techniques and methods, secondary general music methods, principles of music learning, and led the student teaching seminar. Palese has also served as the director of the Music Education Center of America (MECA) Continuing Education program and director of student teaching at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to administrative duties, Palese taught music technology and supervised field experiences for instrumental music education music majors. He has also served as adjunct faculty in the Division of Music Education in the College of Music at the University of North Texas.

Palese began his teaching career at Prairie Hill School in Cary, Illinois, directing 5th and 6th grade bands in addition to facilitating extracurricular opportunities for students to learn jazz fundamentals, popular music styles, and podcasting. He worked with the Cary Education Foundation to secure a grant, commissioning the work Colliding Visions by composer Brian Balmages.

Palese earned a PhD in Music and Human Learning at the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as a teaching assistant in the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, and also taught in the University of Texas String Project. Prior to his time in Texas, Rick earned both BMEd and MMEd degrees in Music Education at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, where he was honored with the Esprit de Corps award on three separate occasions and graduated as Senior Salutatorian.


Palese Amy

Amy Palese

Adjunct MECA Faculty

Amy Palese has taught band at the middle school level for 16 years. She is currently a woodwind teaching artist for Austin Soundwaves, where she teaches high school and middle school students in the metropolitan area of Austin, Texas. Prior to joining Soundwaves, Amy directed bands in Buda, Texas at Dahlstrom Middle School. Her groups consistently earned the Sweepstakes Award at University Interscholastic League (UIL) Contest. Amy’s professional experiences also include teaching band and secondary general music classes in Groveport, Ohio at Groveport Madison Middle School North. Early in her career, Amy taught middle school band in the Chicagoland area at Rotolo Middle School in Batavia, Westfield Community School in Algonquin and Carpentersville Middle School in Carpentersville, Illinois. As an active performer, Amy has played clarinet with the Austin Symphonic Band in Texas and Fox Valley Concert Band in Illinois. Mrs. Palese earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music. 

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