Teaching Songwriting, Improvisation & Creativity
in the Classroom

September 21December 13, 2020

Learn how to incorporate songwriting into your teaching in order to revolutionize your lesson planning, boost student morale, heighten creativity, manage your classroom effectively, and develop your students' social, emotional and musical “VOICES.” Course participants will observe, develop, discuss and demonstrate best practices for implementing improvisation and songwriting in various genres at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Participants will discuss and demonstrate the importance of songwriting in modern and traditional music education systems, and will consider the practical application of how to incorporate innovative methods into their personal practices. This course is designed to help teachers observe, plan and initiate new methods and approaches towards music learning that are culturally responsive, forward-thinking and innovative.

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Plan and incorporate songwriting and improvisation at each grade level.
  • Demonstrate effective lesson and unit plans that are centered around songwriting.
  • Create project-based learning curricula that are designed around songwriting, production, arranging and performance.
  • Incorporate songwriting and hiphop education as a means of cultural relevancy with inner-city students.
  • Discuss and demonstrate why songwriting and creativity is a necessary part of student development.
  • Build connections between music history, music theory and music innovation.

Instructor: Marc Evan Diaz

MarcEvanDiaz_CoverMarc Evan Diaz is a motivated and passionate educator who empowers students of all ages to discover the strength of the voice and creativity. He has produced 16 international children’s albums (in partnership with Fiddlefox Music), and has taught urban populations professionally for over 10 years at the K-12 public school and collegiate levels. A graduate of Berklee College of Music (Cum Laude) with a double major in music education and performance, Diaz uses a mixture of traditional techniques and modern methods to teach such topics and classes as Songwriting and Production, African American Music and Social Justice...from Spirituals to Hiphop, and Music of the World: International Childrens Music. Through strategic curriculum, inspired teaching and project-based learning sequences, Diaz challenges students to discover and use their voice to intentionally produce social impact.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288