Redesigning & Adapting Curriculum for New Realities



Fall MECA Online Courses
All Fall MECA online courses
are generally held from
Sept. 20 through Dec. 12, 2021,
unless specified.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m.  
on September 17, 2021

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Redesigning & Adapting Curriculum for New Realities

September 21December 13, 2020

COVID-19 and the heightened awareness of systemic inequities present music educators with the challenge of rethinking and redesigning teaching and learning. Effective and joyful teaching and learning practices of even the recent past need to be modified and redesigned, wisdom derived from the past needs to be maintained while new approaches, practices and processes need to be created for the present and the immediate future.

This course provides tools and strategies from learning new technology for delivering instruction and creating meaningful interactive content, to building, repairing and maintaining positive relationships, which is a major pillar of culturally responsive teaching.

Curated lessons and assessments can be redesigned and new ones can be created to integrate social justice standards of the Anti-Bias Framework, and the Arts standards. Teachers will focus on curriculum from the perspective of a culturally responsive practitioner. Rubrics for assessments for and of learning will be discussed. Apps include Seesaw, Google Apps, presentation apps, screencasting apps, apps for quizzes, and more.

Manju Durairaj

Durairaj,_Manju_headshot_2012Manju Durairaj (MMEd ‘03) was born and raised in India. She studied in London, England, and was involved in graduate research projects on comparative pedagogical practices of Indian (carnatic) and Western Music. Durairaj is certified in Orff Schulwerk, having completed her levels training at VanderCook, George Mason University, University of St. Thomas, and at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. She currently teaches PreK-5 general music at the Latin School of Chicago. She is president of the Greater Chicago Orff Chapter, has presented at ISME, AOSA, OAKE, ILMEA, ECMMA, MKMEA and NAfME (formerly MENC), and has been published in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education.

Roger Sams

Sams,_Roger_headshot_2020_CROPRoger Sams retired from the music classroom in 2013 after 31 years of teaching music in public and private schools. He has served as adjunct faculty, teaching methods courses and supervising student teachers at Cleveland State University, and has been on the faculty in teacher education programs at the University of St. Thomas, Cleveland State University, Akron University, the University of Montana, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and other venues throughout the U.S. Sams is a regular presenter at state, regional and national conferences, has served on the AOSA National Board of Trustees, and has worked with teachers in Canada, China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Poland, Spain, and Scotland. He is currently in a creative, collaborative relationship with

Trained in Gestalt therapy, Sams is interested in the power of choice in the artistic process, teaching, and life. He is the co-author of Purposeful Pathways:  Possibilities for the Elementary Music Classroom and Percussive Play. He has published works for children’s choirs in the Crooked River Choral Project series and a collection of rounds and partner songs, A Round My Heart.

Course Details

Redesigning & Adapting
Curriculum for New Realities

Course Code 6650

Manju Durairaj
& Roger Sams

3 Graduate Credits

$1,065, due in full with registration

Online Chat Sessions
Weekly; times TBD


Required Text(s)
Culturally Responsive Teaching
and the Brain
by Zaretta Hammond

Responsive Classroom for Music,
Art, PE and Other Special Areas

(Responsive Classroom)

Students are responsible for purchasing all required texts and materials. VanderCook will not have any course 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


VanderCook College of Music

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

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