7817 The Times They Are A-Changin’: Revitalizing Your Music Appreciation Curriculum

Your music appreciation class may not be a performing arts course, but those students are an essential part of your program! Expand enrollment and provide broader opportunities in music consumption and creation by redesigning your music appreciation curriculum. Discover a backwards-design approach to the student exploration of and participation in music, including rock, popular, jazz, world and classical music; song construction; music business; music technology (with and without a computer lab); sound engineering; and music careers. Customized for the 6-12 music teacher with units, lesson plans, projects, activities, media lists, field trip plans, and other materials are included for easy implementation. Also a great course for the first time classroom music teacher!


Instructor: Don Stinson


Don Stinson is currently a Band Director at Joliet Central High School. He taught for two years at H.D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin, IL, where he served as a band and choir director. During his time at Jacobs, he was awarded "Outstanding New Faculty Member” and received a District 300 grant for technology in the classroom. From 2009 to 2014, Don was the director of bands at Morris Community High School in Morris, IL. Don's highlights at Morris included band enrollment more than doubling, the development of the Guest Artist Series, featuring Nationally and Internationally known guest artists, recognition from the NAMM Foundation as a 2014 SupportMusic Merit Award Winner, development of a competitive marching program that finished within the top three at local shows, and class 1A State of Illinois Concert Band Contest Champions.  At Naperville North, Don’s jazz band was awarded class champions at the Northshore Jazz Festival in 2015, and he co-directed the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at the Illinois Superstate Festival, where the group was selected as AAAA Honor Band for the 2016 performance.  In 2016, Don will take over as the Director of Bands at Joliet Central High School, becoming the fifth director in the bands’ 105 year history.

Stinson earned an Associate's Degree from Joliet Junior College, studying under Mr. Jerry E. Lewis, and completed his Bachelor's summa cum laude at VanderCook College of Music, where he studied under Dr. Charles Menghini.  Don completed his Master of Music Education degree at Northern Illinois University, and is a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification teacher.



On-Campus Courses 
Dates for on-campus courses
vary; please check each
course page for specific dates.

Registration for all
on-campus courses closes
two weeks prior to the
course start date.

General hours for all
on-campus courses

MondayThursday: 8:00 a.m.5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m.3:30 p.m.
unless otherwise indicated or established 
by the course instructor.

PLEASE NOTE: All on-campus courses will have a required online component. Each course will require students to engage in one pre-course discussion, at least one post-course discussion, and a capstone project due two weeks after the course. Online credentials will be available three weeks prior to the start of each course.

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.

Course Information

7817 The Times They Are A-Changin': Revitalizing Your Music Appreciation Curriculum

Graduate Credits: 3
Tuition: $990, due in full with registration
Register online by Friday, April 14, and save $50 per class!
Register online by Friday, May 19, and save $25 per class!
Only registrations received and paid in full by 12:00 noon CDT on the dates above (April 10 for $50, May 15 for $25)  are eligible for the discounts. Balances paid after initial registration do not qualify.



VanderCook Online is powered by Schoology ( Through this learning management system, you'll be able to interact directly with your instructor, students in your classes, and members of the greater VanderCook Online community.

The summer online term officially begins on Monday, June 10. The week prior to June 10, you'll be added as a new Schoology user. Be on the lookout for an email from or with log-in instructions. Once you are given credentials, simply visit to login. On the morning of June 10, 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.

You’ll have the opportunity to work at your own pace each week while completing assignments and posting responses to discussion questions. You’ll constantly be interacting with your instructor and classmates online, and working through new material each week. We know how crazy summer schedules can get, so our instructors try to make everything as flexible as possible!


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