Graduate Courses and Workshops

Conversational Tune-Up with Betsy Greene: Level 1 and 2 (Spring 2020)

Conversational Solfege Level 1 and 2 Certification Course with Betsy Greene, Past President of FAME (Summer 2020)

Music-COMP Summer Composition Institute for Teachers (Summer 2020)

Conversational Solfege Tune-Up with Betsy Greene:  Level 1 and 2  

Betsy Greene, Instructor
1.5 Graduate Credits or PD/workshop Credits

Course Description:
Designed for those who have previously taken Conversational Solfege:  Levels 1 & 2 (FAME certified), participants will have an opportunity to tune-up their practice and implementation of CS through an active review of the 12 Steps, literacy units, and techniques (games) used to fuel the learning. Additionally, teachers will learn more ways to deepen their pedagogy or enhance student learning through special considerations (such as unit and lesson planning or how to integrate CS with Orff Schulwerk) as well as opportunities to share with each other their experience as a CS teacher.

• To develop and/or increase skill teaching Conversational Solfege:  Levels 1 & 2 through active review of the 12 Steps, Literacy Units, and Techniques
• To be able to identify challenges in personal practice and address them
• To be able to explore different applications of CS in different settings and with different learners

Location:  Champlain Elementary School, 800 Pine Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401

Meeting times:
Saturday 8 - 4 pm         March 14, 2020     Snow day March 21, 2020 (In-person)
Thursday's 6 -7 pm       March 26; April 2; April 16; April 23 (Online)



Conversational Solfege Level 1 and 2 Certification Course with Betsy Greene, Past President of FAME

Betsy Greene, Instructor
3 Graduate Credits or PD/workshop Credits

Monday, July 6th-Friday July 10th 2020
8:00-4:00 PM
Music Room
Champlain Elementary School
800 Pine Street, Burlington VT

3 Graduate Credits or 45 hours of PD/Workshop Credit
3 Graduate Credits  - $1400
Workshop credit only - $1000


Conversational Solfege (CS) is a pedagogical method used to develop music literacy and was created by leading music educator Dr. John Feierabend of the Hartt School of Music.  Based on the same premise used to teach conversational foreign languages (one should learn with his/her ears before learning with his/her eyes), CS first develops an understanding of music through the use of rhythm and solfege syllables at a conversational level, then gradually evolves into traditional notation. Teachers will learn how to carefully sequence activities to enable students to joyfully assimilate the skills and content to be musically literate, as well as learn various techniques to allow acquisition of music reading and writing, dictation, improvisation, and composition in an intuitive manner.  CS also will address lesson planning, unit planning, and assessment.   This class is applicable to all music educators.  Both CS Level I and Level II will be covered.

To understand the philosophy, history, and learning sequence presented in Conversational Solfege.
To understand when and how to teach music literacy using Conversational Solfege.
To develop teaching skills necessary to present lessons with appropriate materials and music activities using the method of Conversational Solfege.

Course instructor is Betsy Greene, a Feierabend Association for Music Education (FAME) endorsed Teacher Trainer and highly respected music educator in the Burlington Vermont Schools. This course is fully endorsed by FAME. All participants will receive a Conversational Solfege Certificate of Completion from FAME.


Music-COMP Summer Composition Institute for Teachers

Matt LaRocca, Instructor
3 Graduate Credits of 45 Professional Development Hours

Monday, July 20th - Friday July 24th 2020
9:00-4:00 PM
University of Vermont
Southwick Hall

3 Graduate Credits or 45 hours of PD/Workshop Credit
3 Graduate Credits  - $1500
Workshop credit only - $1000

Each participant will have an opportunity to write a piece and have it be performed and recorded by TURNmusic, Vermont's contemporary music ensemble.

Music-COMP's week-long summer institute gives teachers a chance to explore the creative side of their musicianship. Over the course of the week, participants will compose an original work which will then be rehearsed and performed by TURNmusic, Vermonts own contemporary music ensemble. Participants will be guided through the entire composition process with daily feedback and support as they compose. The morning sessions will be devoted to group activities and seminars where teachers will learn how to integrate composition into their curriculum, explore music technology programs that can be used to help facilitate the composition process, learn how to develop composition lesson plans and practice giving meaningful feedback to student composers. During the afternoons there will be structured time to work on individual compositions as well as feedback sessions with peers and institute faculty. 

Topics Covered Include:

The benefits of composition to a music program
The Creative Process and where to begin
Curriculum Integration
Lesson plans and strategies for all grade levels
Arranging for your ensemble
Assessing composition or other creative work
Noteflight and other notation programs
Garageband/Soundation and other electronic music programs

Graduate Course Info:
Three credits are offered through Castleton University under a professional development contract with Music-COMP. All fees are paid to Music-COMP.

We are unable to offer housing options, but Burlington and the surrounding towns are full of hotels, Airbnb, and VRBO options. If you need assistance, please reach out to


For just a few dollars per month, you can help ensure students will be writing music with Music-COMP for years to come. With your support, students throughout Vermont will continue to see their music come to life!