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7956 Music Administration 101

This course is designed to equip music educators with the tools, skills and strategies to successfully manage the non-musical responsibilities of their positions. Topics include effective communication practices (getting your message heard and understood), data collection and analysis, budget development and management, scheduling and staffing, evaluation and assessment of students and staff, change management, developing and sustaining positive relationships, recruiting and retention of students and staff, and arts education advocacy. One outcome of the class will be an annual plan, personalized to specific teaching situations, that organizes curriculum, event, professional development and advocacy activities. Online chat sessions will be held on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. CDT.

“Organization and administration alone cannot make an ensemble sound good, but a lack of them can keep it from doing so.”  David Gregory

Required text: The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-42557)

Embracing Administrative Leadership in Music Education by John Clinton (GIA Publications, ISBN 978-1-62277-166-0)

Course Testimonials:

"This was easily among the best course I have ever taken."

"Basically everything you want to know about running a successful band program."


Instructors: Rick Coulter & Rhonda Taggart

Coulter,_Rick_headshot_Su15A veteran of 38 years in public school education, Rick Coulter served as a curriculum leader of successful music, arts and academic programs in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. During his tenure in Williamsport, PA the K-12 music program was recognized twelve times as one of the 100 Best Communities for Music Education in America, the high school was selected as a Grammy Signature School, the District was highlighted in Gaining The Arts Advantage: Lessons From School Districts That Value Arts Education, and the total K-12 program was selected as a Best Practice Program by the PA Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Arts Education. Rick is active as an arts advocate, clinician, teacher, writer, performer and conductor of the Billtown Brass Band.


Rhonda Taggart is Founder and President of Keep the Arts for Kids. An award winning teacher, designer, keynote speaker and clinician she is best known for developing the materials, training, connections and resources (including financial) to keep the arts at the core of public school education. Publications include Tips for Success, Choose to Teach, Securing Your Future, Ideas Into Action and Exploit the Power of Arts Education.



Click to Register for Fall MECA Courses

Course Information

7956 Music Administration 101
Instructors:Rick Coulter & Rhonda Taggart
3 graduate credits
Tuition: $990, due in full with registration.
Fall Online Courses begin September 19 and conclude December 9, 2016.

MECA Online Course Details

VanderCook Online is powered by Schoology ( Through this learning management system, you'll be able to interact directly with your instructor, students in your classes, and members of the greater VanderCook Online community.
Spring 2020 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, February 3. Soon after you register, you'll be added as a new Schoology user. Be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you are given credentials, simply visit to login. On the morning of February 3, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.
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.
You’ll have the opportunity to work at your own pace each week while completing assignments and posting responses to discussion questions. You’ll constantly be interacting with your instructor and classmates online, and working through new material each week. We know how crazy school schedules can get, so our instructors try to make everything as flexible as possible!
Online grades will be reported by mid-May. If you are in need of a transcript please visit the online transcript request page. If you are in need a quick turn around time for your transcript please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).

VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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