Rebuild, Recruit, Cultivate & Motivate: Gearing Up for a New Year & Getting Students Back in the Game!

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Rebuild, Recruit, Cultivate & Motivate: Gearing Up for a
New Year & Getting Students
Back in the Game!

September 7–October 3, 2021

Not quite sure how to plan for the coming school year? How about addressing your students' and the program's needs? Need strategies for student motivation? Looking for ideas for recruitment? A panel of expert music educators will share their best practices and ideas, with a dash of motivation and inspiration for a successful school year. The goal of this course is to inspire, motivate, and support music teachers as they begin a new school year and to also provide practical ideas and solutions to issues nearly all music teachers are facing like classroom culture, intrinsic motivation, recruitment, retention, and how to rebuild playing/singing skills. Designed for band, orchestra, and choral educators of all levels.

Topics Covered:

  • Community engagement

  • Recruitment & retention

  • Fundamentals, playing skills

  • Social-emotional needs, building rapport, classroom culture

Guest Clinicians
Chris Gleason - Patrick Marsh Middle School, Sun Prairie, WI
Lisa Hatfield - Batavia Public Schools, Batavia, IL
Tiffany Hitz - Rachel Carson Middle School, Fairfax, VA
Jerell Horton - Vestavia Hills High School, Vestavia Hills, AL
Bobby Lambert - Wando High School, Mount Pleasant, SC
Mickey Smith Jr. - The Greene School, West Palm Beach, FL
Darcy Williams - Stiles Middle School, Leander, TX
Session Schedule
Keynote - Tuesday, Sept. 7th - Mickey Smith Jr.
(FREE) *
Session 1 - Thursday, Sept. 9th  - Intrinsic Motivation, Chris Gleason
Session 2 - Thursday, Sept. 16th - Recruitment & Retention, Lisa Hatfield
& Jerell Horton
Session 3 - Thursday, Sept. 23th - Rebuilding the Culture, Tiffany Hitz
& Bobby Lambert
Session 4 - Thursday, Sept. 30th - Rebuilding Skills & Musicianship,
Darcy Williams
All sessions are at 7:00pm CDT & last approx. 60 minutes
* Mickey Smith's keynote address is free and open to all, whether or not attending the course.


Keith Ozsvath


Keith Ozsvath has been sharing his lifelong passion for music with the students at Rotolo Middle School in Batavia, IL, a six-time NAMM Best Community for Music Education, since 2000. He currently co-teaches band and orchestra, directs the Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band while finding unique ways to integrate technology to enhance his students’ learning.  
‚ÄčIn addition to being a dedicated middle school teacher, Ozsvath teaches graduate courses at VanderCook College of Music. He has presented numerous webinars and professional development sessions for music educators at the The Midwest Clinic, Virginia Music Educators Association, Illinois Music Educators Conference, VanderCook College of Music, and the Association of Middle Level Educators. His dedication to teaching has been recognized through the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator award in 2015 and twice by “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” In 2017, Ozsvath was honored with an “Exemplary Educator Award” from the Batavia CANDO parent organization. Most recently, he was inducted to the Nazareth Academy Fine Arts Hall of Fame in 2018. Keith is part of the ILMEA Clinician Network which provides professional development to music educators across Illinois. Ozsvath has had the distinguished honor of being an Illinois Summer Youth Music conductor at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and is the co-founder and coordinator for the Middle School Concert Band Camp at the Music for All Summer Symposium held at Ball State University.

Chris Gleason

Gleason,_Chris_headshot_2020_REBALChris Gleason is an instrumental music educator at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, WI. He is the 2017 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year, 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator Award semifinalist, and the first Wisconsin teacher in 50 years to be named a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. In 2009, Gleason started the ComMission Possible Project that annually commissions new works for band; recent commissions have included works by John Mackey, Michael Markowski, Alex Shapiro, Brian Balmages, Sam Hazo, Andrew Boysen Jr. and others. Gleason recently served as a Teacher Leadership and Engagement Specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, inspiring future education majors across the state. He is the past-chair of the Wisconsin Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) Committee, the Wisconsin State Middle-Level Honors Band and the Wisconsin State Middle-Level Honors Project. Gleason has been featured in the March 2015 issue of The Instrumentalist magazine, and in books such as Think Like Socrates: Using Questions to Invite Wonder and Empathy into the Classroom (Shanna Peeples, 2018) and Rehearsing the Middle School Band (Stephen Meyer, 2018). Gleason is a 2018-19 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow who traveled to South Africa in 2019. He is the founder and organizer of the Beyond the Notes Music Festival Inc. in Wisconsin Dells that has inspired more than 35,000 young musicians and 70 future music educators to date. Gleason recently presented his own TEDxOshkosh talk entitled “Lighting a Fire in Kids.”


Additional instructor bios coming soon!

Rebuild, Recruit, Cultivate &
Motivate: Gearing Up for a
New Year & Getting Students
Back in the Game!

Keith Ozsvath

Guest Clinicians
Chris Gleason
Lisa Hatfield
Tiffany Hinz
Jerell Horton
Bobby Lambert
Mickey Smith Jr.
Darcy Williams

Sept. 7-Oct. 3, 2021

Course Options
Audit (No Credit, No PD Hours)

$50, due in full with registration
Course Code: 6421A

No Credit (PD Hours Only) Zoom Sessions Required
$100, due in full with registration
Course Code: 6421B

1 Graduate Credit (with PD Hours) Zoom Sessions Required
$355, due in full with registration
Course Code 6421C

Session Schedule
Keynote - Tuesday, Sept. 7:
Mickey Smith Jr. 
Session 1 - Thursday, Sept. 9:
Intrinsic Motivation,
Chris Gleason
Session 2 - Thursday, Sept. 16:
Recruitment & Retention,
Lisa Hatfield & Jerell Horton 
Session 3 - Thursday, Sept. 23:
Rebuilding the Culture,
Tiffany Hitz & Bobby Lambert
Session 4 - Thursday, Sept. 30:
Rebuilding Skills & Musicianship,

Darcy Williams

All sessions are at 7:00pm CDT and last approx. 60 min.

Course Requirements
Graduate Credit
Students are required to attend all Zoom sessions and submit reflections after each session to the instructor.

No Credit
Students are required to attend all Zoom sessions.

No requirements.

Required Text(s)

Software/Hardware Requirements
Access to a Mac, PC or Chromebook, connected to the Internet.

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).

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

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