Purposeful Pathways to Functional Harmony

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courses begin on June 8 and
conclude on July 31, 2020.

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contact us at
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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.


Purposeful Pathways to Functional Harmony

Using the Purposeful Pathways model, integrating Orff Schulwerk, Kodály and eurhythmics, we will explore working with functional harmony in the upper elementary or middle school general music classroom.

Participants will learn how to: 

  • Create simple arrangements of folk and/or pop songs using Orff instruments, percussion instruments, ukulele and/or guitar

  • Create composition and improvisation activities based upon folk and/or pop songs

  • Create movement activities based on folk and/or pop songs appropriate for upper elementary and middle school

Participants will each teach a small group lesson that utilizes an arrangement that they created based on a folk or pop song that uses functional harmony that includes composition, improvisation or movement extensions.


Instructor: Roger Sams

Roger_Sams_(guitar)Roger Sams retired from the music classroom in 2013 after 31 years of teaching music. He has been an active clinician and Orff instructor for over two decades and has taught in China, India, Indonesia, Scotland, Canada, South Korea, Poland, and throughout the United States. Sams is trained in Gestalt therapy and is interested in the power of choice in the artistic process and in life. He is co-author of Purposeful Pathways: Possibilities for the Elementary Music Room, and the composer of several choral octavos published in the Crooked River Choral Project series, as well as a book of rounds and partner songs, A Round My Heart. He is currently the director of publications at Music Is Elementary.

Course Details

Instructor: Roger Sams
2 Graduate Credits
Tuition: $680, due in full at registration  
Course Code: 6399
Dates: July 1-3, 2019
Location: VanderCook, room TBD
Required text(s):
VanderCook will provide all text(s).
Required materials:
Participants should bring a ukulele and/or guitar, if possible (not required).

VanderCook College of Music

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

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