Empowering Students to Make Musical Decisions

Next session dates TBD

Music class is a problem-solving laboratory. Even so, the traditional teaching strategy from the podium is to be the "sage on the stage." In the service of "efficiency," error detection is the domain of the teacher on the podium, which leads to the teacher being the only problem-solver in the room. Currently, all teacher evaluation systems place a high value on student engagement, so it is imperative that teachers shift more of the responsibility for musical decision-making to students. This class will offer multiple strategies for teachers to create the conditions under which students will take the lead in their own learning.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Engage participants in conversations about current teaching practices and discuss approaches more in line with current teaching models.

  • Create lesson units that include multiple opportunities for students to offer their own ideas and solutions to problems.

  • Explore models for leadership teams and apply them to their current teaching situation.

Instructor: Charles "Chip" Staley

Staley,_Charles_headshot_2013Charles Staley began his teaching career at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, IL. Staley recently retired from public school teaching after 30 years in District 204 in Naperville, where he served as a Fine Arts Chair first at Waubonsie Valley and then at Neuqua Valley High School. Over his career, Staley taught wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, symphony orchestra and musical theater orchestra. Under his guidance, the Neuqua Valley Fine Arts Department was awarded the National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Award from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Neuqua Valley has been honored by the GRAMMY Foundation seven times with GRAMMY Gold status, and was twice recognized as a GRAMMY National Signature School.

Staley’s bands and orchestras have performed at the Midwest Clinic, Chicago’s Symphony Center, University of Illinois’ Krannert Hall, and at concert venues in China, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Staley is the recipient of the John Paynter Lifetime Achievement Award, the Mary Hoffman Excellence in Teaching Award, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra's Music Inspiration Award, and the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Flag of Honor. Staley is a member of the Illinois Music Educators Association Assessment Committee and is an advisor for the Illinois State Board of Education. Staley is a National Board certified teacher holding degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288