Habits of a Successful & Significant Band Director



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Habits of a Successful & Significant Band Director

September 21–December 13, 2020

Band directors must be knowledgeable educators who can provide instruction that will help students fall in love with music and build skills that will create artists. Through this professional course, directors will closely examine the nature and significance of music and music learning and the critical aspects of teaching strategy development.

Topics include: The Components of Playing, Other Things We’re Responsible for Teaching, The Teaching Inventory Database, Teaching Music and Musical Concepts, Organization, Management, and the Band Director Outline, Assessments in a Performance-Based Class, Communication and Physical Energy, Who You Are as a Band Director, Creating Vision and Goals for Professional Success, Quality of Life Issues for Band Directors, Leadership for All, and Leaving a Legacy.

The course is designed to provide the information necessary for band directors to make complex instructional decisions that connect theory, nuts-and-bolts practices and student achievement. Participants will have an opportunity to develop shared beliefs and align those beliefs with practices that work in the trenches. Based on years of best practices, this professional course offers a context for band directors to study, develop, share and learn effective methods of instruction to meet their student’s diverse interests and needs. This course WILL make you a better band director by helping you translate your intentions into actions!

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Clearly state and critically assess their own teaching strategies and evaluate how their current practices measure against quality instruction.

2. Develop a Teaching Inventory Database, which will transform daily instruction in the classroom (a lab for music making). The Components of Playing will be evaluated to address skills used during “fundamentals” time.

3. Build skills in both pedagogical and non-pedagogical areas and assess how they relate to the growth of critical strategies and practices – you’re a product of your experiences and you can only give away what you have.

4. Create and explore different and differentiated models of assessment in a performance-based class.

5. Use the Habits Synergy Model to address the five key practices of knowledge, communication, physical energy, heart energy and “who you are” as an educator.

6. Explore and create strategies that will build relationships with students in a meaningful way through creating a culture of excellence and social/emotional learning – we’re in the music and people business.

7. Build trusting relationships with students that show (1) I care about you (2) I believe you will be successful, and (3) I believe in your creativity and wonderment.

8. Exude a servitude attitude about music making.

9. Develop authentic music-making activities to increase engagement and motivation of students.

10. Set goals and action steps that will enhance instruction and also address “quality of life” issues.

11. Demonstrate the ability to use a variety of genres, including technology, to enhance teaching and learning.

Instructor: Scott Rush

Rush,_Scott_headshotScott Rush is the lead writer for the “Habits” series published by GIA Publications, and is the former director of bands at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, SC. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and currently serves as conductor of the Charleston Wind Symphony. Under his direction, the Wando Symphonic Band performed at the 2007 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Rush is active as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States and Canada. He is the author and co-author of twelve highly touted books, some of which include Habits of A Successful Band Director, Habits of a Successful Musician, Habits of a Successful Beginner Band Musician, Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician, The Evolution of a Successful Band Director, Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director, Habits of a Significant Band Director and Pathway to Success for GIA . In 2010, Rush was elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.

Course Details

Habits of a Successful &
Significant Band Director

Course Code 6220

Scott Rush

3 Graduate Credits

$1,065, due in full with registration

Chat Sessions
Sept. 21, Nov. 2 & Dec. 7,
plus a one-on-one collaborative
session with the instructor.

Required text(s)
Habits of a Successful Band Director
by Scott Rush
(GIA Publications)

Habits of a Significant Band Director
by Scott Rush
(GIA Publications)

Students are responsible for purchasing all required materials. VanderCook will not have any materials available for purchase.

Software/hardware requirements
Internet access is required.

MECA Online
is powered by Schoology

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

Fall 2021 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, Sept. 20. Soon after you register, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. On the morning of Sept. 20, 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.

Online grades will be reported by mid-January. If you need a transcript, please visit the online transcript request page. For faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).

More information about Schoology can be found at


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Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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