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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Spring 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Teaching the Middle School Band


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.


Course participants will engage in reflective analysis of their recorded rehearsals, conducting and outcomes with Dr. Stacey Larson Dolan in an online, limited enrollment course.  Asynchronous coursework along with individual consultations will individualize the course and guide you through curriculum development, age-appropriate repertoire selection, resiliency practices, motivational techniques, community building, advocacy, and creative warm-ups and rehearsal techniques.


Chat Session

This course is asynchronous. Please contact the instructor to request a meeting.



Required Text(s)

Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director by Scott Rush.

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).


Stacey Larson Dolan

Stacey Dolan

Chief Academic Officer
Dean, Undergraduate Division

Dr. Stacey Larson Dolan is the Chief Academic Officer, Undergraduate Dean and Associate Director of Bands at VanderCook College of Music.  Dr. Dolan advises and teaches students through a variety of music educa­tion and conducting courses, as well as bands at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  Prior to 2004 and her appointment at VanderCook, Dr. Dolan taught at the middle school and high school level in both private and public education.  She was on the design and teaching staff of the National Champion Lake Park Marching Band for twelve years and was the creative director and conductor of the Bensenville Young Musicians Mentor Band from 1995-2007.

Originally from Itasca, IL, Dr. Dolan has been a guest conductor, presenter and clinician for hundreds of bands from the United States, Europe, Canada and China. Honor band conducting experiences include the Tianjin International School in Tianjin, China, the Tri-State Honor Band in Morehead, KY, the Music For All Summer Symposium, ILMEA, PMEA, OMEA, and many guest conducting and adjudication experiences throughout the U.S.  She was the recipient of the IGSMA Barbara Buehlman Young Conductor Award and the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award, has received the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from both Itasca School District #10 and VanderCook Col­lege of Music.  Dr. Dolan has been published in The Instrumentalist and her professional affilia­tions include Phi Beta Mu, NAfME, Vice President of AIMS, NBA, and CBDNA.  Dr. Dolan earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Millikin University and Master of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music.  She earned an EdD from the University of Northern Colorado with a minor in applied statistics and research methods.  Her research areas of inter­est include music teacher education, Care theory, teacher assessment, and teacher resilience.

To learn more about Dean Dolan’s journey in music education:

Stacey Larson Dolan on Women in Education

Stacey Larson Dolan speaks on her career journey from starting the flute in fifth grade to higher education.

Stacey Larson Dolan speaks on the basics of running a music classroom.

Stacey Larson Dolan speaks on how she works to achieve balance in her life.


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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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