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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Spring 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Arranging for the Young Jazz Band


February 13-May 5, 2023

Course Code



2Graduate Credits/3 Graduate Credits*


$1,140 for course 522B is due in full with registration. $1,065 for course 7322 is due in full with registration. A $15 Late Fee will be added beginning February 13.


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.
* This course is offered at two course levels. Students enrolled in the MMEd program at VanderCook are eligible to enroll for the 500 course number. Students not enrolled in the MMEd program who wish to earn graduate credit as a MECA Continuing Education student should register for the four digit course number. The difference in credits earned and tuition cost is attributed to the difference in tuition rates for the MMEd and MECA Continuing Education programs. If you are unsure which section is best for you, please contact us directly at [email protected].


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.

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).


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 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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