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Spring 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


The Young Jazz Band: Approach to Articulation & Repertoire


February 13-May 5, 2023

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,065 is due in full with registration. A $15 Early Bird Discount will be applied until January 6.


The Young Jazz Band: Approach to Articulation & Repertoire will explore articulations that are specific to traditional jazz ensemble performance. Students will learn various approaches to teaching young jazz bands to perform traditional jazz ensemble arrangements with attention to proper stylistic considerations. These considerations are created by listening and becoming familiar with traditional big band ensembles and performing arrangements and compositions with stylistically correct articulations.
In addition, students will learn approaches to selecting, arranging, and rearranging quality compositions for inexperienced bands. VCM Students will choose arrangements that would, in other circumstances, be considered too difficult for inexperienced students. The selected arrangements will be rearranged using techniques learned in this course, creating more opportunities for band instructors to provide their students with quality repertoire.
The first portion of this class will be devoted to content and concepts, while the second half will be project based. Students will complete a final arrangement project by the conclusion of the class.


Chat Session

Mondays at 7:00pm-8:30pm CST via Zoom



Required Text(s)

Students will be required to choose a jazz band arrangement (grades 2-3.5) of their choice to rearrange for younger bands.

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.

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

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).


Roosevelt 103

Dr. Roosevelt Griffin

Walter Dyett Chair for Jazz Studies, Diversity, and Inclusion

Dr. Roosevelt Griffin III believes “being an educator is not a career, it is a lifestyle.” His approach to teaching is one that is intentional and full of care and love. He believes music education should be a vehicle to promote not only musical excellence, but also unity and diversity.


In 2017 he founded the Griffin Institute of Performing Arts NFP where the transformative abilities of the arts are used to lift the lives of students and families throughout southern Cook County and beyond. In addition, he serves as the Walter Dyett Chair for Jazz Studies, Diversity, and Inclusion at VanderCook College of Music, and he is the Youth Ensemble Director for the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.


Dr. Griffin’s student-center approach to music education has been adopted by educators around the world. His belief is that a unified band room is just as important as musical excellence, and when they are both combined, the results are life changing. He has been recognized on many occasions for his methods contributions to the field of music education from a hometown street in Harvey, IL renamed “Roosevelt Griffin III Ave.” to a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Golden Apple Foundation in 2014. He has received several additional honors: “Best Music Educator” Semi Finalist from the Grammy Foundation and Recording Academy, “Outstanding Alumni” award from Northern Illinois University Alumni Association, and “Distinguished Alumni” from Concordia University. Most recently, he received the “2022 John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year” from the Jazz Education Network and Berkley College of Music and the “2022 Think Big Educator Award ” from the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.


His transformative approaches have also been highlighted in multiple publications including the ASCD video by Eric Jenson, Teaching with Poverty in MindTeaching Music Magazine, Downbeat Magazine and JazzEd Magazine. Griffin co-authored Teaching Music through Performance: Beginning Jazz Ensembles and Rehearsing the Jazz Band.


Griffin earned his BM in Music Performance (Tuba) and Illinois Teaching Certificate K-12 (Music) from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL (2001). He completed his MA in School Leadership and


Type 75 Certificate from Concordia-Chicago (2011) followed by an EdD in Organizational Leadership at Argosy University in Chicago, IL including a study sabbatical at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL (2015).

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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