Paving the Way: Tools & Strategies for Remote Learning



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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For other MECA-related questions,
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or 312.788.1139

Paving the Way:
Tools & Strategies for
Remote Learning

August 10September 6, 2020

The abrupt move to remote learning in the spring left little time to reflect and build a sequence for meaningful lessons for our students. In addition, many of us find ourselves in need of a crash course on creating and uploading videos along with tools for assessment and making thinking visible. This single-credit course will offer the time to reflect on student needs, best tools to apply, and ideas for converting concepts into interactive lessons. This course will include short assignments each week, topic discussions, community building, and networking with other teachers. Tech tools will include screencasting options, video creation and assessment tools. Teaching strategies will focus on a gradual progression towards learning outcomes, gathering evidence of learning/standards, and ideas on how to build a community in a remote setting.

This course is designed for K-12 music teachers.


Abigail Blair

Blair,_Abigail_headshot_2020Abigail Blair has 16 years of experience in general music grades PreK-5 in the Chicago suburbs. Her education includes a bachelor's degree in music education from Augustana College, a Master of Music Education degree from Boston University, and Orff certification instruction from Vandercook College of Music and DePaul University. She has a background studying composition and music production through Berklee College of Music and is an Apple Teacher. She is adjunct faculty at North Park University in Chicago and enjoys teaching at universities, workshops and webinars on the subjects of interactive classrooms, STEAM, arts collaboration, musical production and music pedagogy. She is a contributing author for Activate! Magazine as well as author for other publications from Heritage Music Press. In addition, she is the creator and author of Beat Blocks (R) products and lessons and co-creator of #BlairFinchProject.

Kathryn Finch

Finch,_Kathryn_headshot_2020Kathryn Finch (MMEd '03) has 22 years of experience in the elementary general music classroom and currently teaches in a northern suburb of Chicago. She speaks passionately about the shift in music education from teacher-led activities to student-led activities and focuses on practical ways music educators can transform their classrooms to empower their students to own their learning. She has been a guest on the Music Ed Mentor Podcast on empowering music students and recently joined the team at Activate! Magazine as a contributing author of general music lesson plans. A published work, Creating Adaptive Instruments with a Makey Makey, can be found in the Fall 2019 issue of the Illinois Music Educator Journal. She received her bachelor's degree in music education from Augustana College and her master’s in music education from VanderCook College of Music. She is a co-creator of the #BlairFinchProject, certified in all three levels of Orff Schulwerk, an Apple Teacher, a technology leader in her school district, and is generally passionate about an inclusive music experience for all her students. Read more about Finch's professional journey at

Course Details

Paving the Way:
Tools & Strategies
for Remote Learning

Abigail Blair
Kathryn Finch

No-credit Option: $199,
due in full with registration
Course Code 6780A

1 Graduate Credit: $355,
due in full with registration
Course Code 6780B


Required Text(s)

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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