Middle School Choir: Creating a Foundation for Healthy Voices & Vibrant Programs

All online Summer MECA
courses begin on June 7
and conclude on August 1,
except as noted.

Registration Extended!
Registration closes at
5:00 p.m. CST on June 20, 2021
for ONLINE Courses.

Visit our MECA FAQs page.

Add, drop, change or withdraw
using the
 Add/Drop Form.

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

All online MECA courses
conclude on May 3, 2020.

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.


Middle School Choir: Creating a Foundation for Healthy Voices
& Vibrant Programs

September 23December 15, 2019

Middle school choir can be daunting even for the most creative teacher. Through the 12 class sessions offered here, you’ll master the following concepts:

  • Understanding the Adolescent (Musician)

  • Traits and Skills of a Successful Teacher of the Adolescent (Musician)

  • Growth Mindset of Climate Development

  • The Place for Process, Procedure and Policy

  • Literature Selection as the Basis for Success

  • Management for Humans by the Humane

  • The Right to Be Wrong and the Wrongs of Being Right

  • Auditions, Assessments and Placements; and Communication – It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Ain’t Got That…Way to Talk to Parents, Kids, Colleagues, et al.

Class members will be expected to participate in online interaction and will develop Personal Discovery Artifacts (PDAs) that will enrich the class experience and create a supply of various documents useful in the classroom.

Instructor: Gretchen Harrison

image4Gretchen Harrison has taught choral music for over 30 years. After teaching in Blue Valley for 15 years, she is now the choir director at Frontier Middle School in the Olathe, KS, school district. Two of her choirs performed at the 2017 KMEA In-Service and Workshop, in Wichita, KS. Harrison has also been part of the artistic staff of Allegro Choirs of Kansas City since 2005. She directs one of the choirs in that program (Vivo) and assists with two additional choirs (Moto and Brio). Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Wichita State University and a master's degree in music education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition, she has completed Level III endorsement in CME (Choral Music Experience). After serving in various district- and state-level leadership positions, she served as National Chairperson for Junior High and Middle School Repertoire and Standards for the American Choral Directors Association, and is currently the National ACDA Repertoire and Resources Chairperson for Youth Services. She was recognized in 2003, 2009, 2015 and 2016 as Outstanding Middle Level Choral Educator for the Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association. The Olathe Education Foundation honored her in 2015 with their Outstanding Educator designation. Harrison is active in ACDA, KCDA, NAfME and KMEA, and has served as a guest presenter and clinician and has served in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, and North Carolina.

Course Details

Middle School Choir: Creating a Foundation for Healthy Voices & Vibrant Programs
Course Code 7659
Instructor: Gretchen Harrison
3 Graduate Credits
Tuition: $1,050,
due in full with registration.
Chat Sessions
Session dates & times to be determined once the course has convened.
Required Texts
Growing Musicians: Teaching Music in Middle School & Beyond by Bridget Sweet
(Oxford Press, ISBN 978-0199372072)
Finding Ophelia’s Voice, Opening Ophelia’s Heart: Nurturing the Adolescent Female Voice
by Lynne Gackle
(Heritage Music Press, ISBN 978-1429118583)
Software/Hardware Requirements
Mac, PC or Chromebook with access 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).

More information about Schoology can be found at


VanderCook College of Music

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

Stay Connected


Continuing Education  




Powered by Website design and development by, Inc