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7695 Vocal Jazz Skills & Tools for the Choral Director


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Recital Highlights

The vocal jazz genre is an important building block of a well-rounded music program but is extremely challenging to many choral music instructors. This class will prepare you with listening and transcribing exercises, historical components, arranging methods, Real Book implementation into vocal curriculum, and available educational materials. Weekly aural skill training, arranging and writing for various experience and grade levels, and online Q&A sessions with vocal jazz educators Kim Nazarian from New York Voices, Randy Stine from Straight No Chaser, and Chicago-based vocalist, bassist and composer Katie Ernst will be included.

Instructor: Jim Yarbrough

Yarbrough,_Jim_headshot2013Jim Yarbrough graduated from Illinois State University (BME) and the University of Illinois (MME), Yarbrough had the opportunity of studying conducting with Lloyd Farlee, Harold Decker and Margaret Hillis.  Educational posts in Gilman (grades 1-12 vocal and general), Plainfield (grades 7-12 vocal), and Naperville (grades 9-12 vocal) gave opportunity to restudy and educate in many musical genre's.  Retired from public education in 2010, Jim has kept up a fun filled and educationally enriched last 3 years including Archival Research at Orchestra Hall/Chicago; volunteering with the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Jazz Education Network; conducting in 5 music festivals this past year and rekindling his motorcycle passion.



All online Summer MECA courses begin on June 8 and conclude on
August 31, 2020.

Registration for all online courses closes at 12:00 noon CST on TBD.

Dates for on-campus courses vary; please check each course's page for specific dates. Registration for all on-campus courses closes two weeks prior to the course start date.


On-Campus Course Hours

Saturdays: 8:00 a.m.5:00 p.m.

Sundays:   8:00 a.m.1:00 p.m.

All single-credit weekend courses
will have pre- and post-course
components. Check each course's

page for specific details.



Visit our MECA FAQs page.

Drop, withdraw or change using
Add/Drop Form.

For other MECA-related questions, contact us at
or 312.788.1139.

Click to Register for Summer MECA Courses

Course Information

7695 Vocal Jazz Skills & Tools for the Choral Director
3 graduate credits
Tuition: $930, due in full with registration.



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.

The summer online term officially begins on Monday, June 10. The week prior to June 10, you'll be added as a new Schoology user. Be on the lookout for an email from or with log-in instructions. Once you are given credentials, simply visit to login. On the morning of June 10, 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 summer schedules can get, so our instructors try to make everything as flexible as possible!


VanderCook College of Music

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

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