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Fall 2020 MECA, Spring 2021 MECA, Summer 2021 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Teaching Songwriting, Improvisation & Creativity in the Classroom


June 7-August 1, 2021

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,065, due in full with registration


Learn how to incorporate songwriting into your teaching in order to revolutionize your lesson planning, boost student morale, heighten creativity, manage your classroom effectively, and develop your students’ social, emotional and musical “VOICES.” Course participants will observe, develop, discuss and demonstrate best practices for implementing improvisation and songwriting in various genres at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Participants will discuss and demonstrate the importance of songwriting in modern and traditional music education systems, and will consider the practical application of how to incorporate innovative methods into their personal practices. This course is designed to help teachers observe, plan and initiate new methods and approaches towards music learning that are culturally responsive, forward-thinking and innovative.

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Plan and incorporate songwriting and improvisation at each grade level.
  • Demonstrate effective lesson and unit plans that are centered around songwriting.
  • Create project-based learning curricula that are designed around songwriting, production, arranging and performance.
  • Incorporate songwriting and hiphop education as a means of cultural relevancy with inner-city students.
  • Discuss and demonstrate why songwriting and creativity is a necessary part of student development.
  • Build connections between music history, music theory and music innovation.


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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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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