Professional Development

Summer 2022 Graduate and PD Courses

Register for First Steps in Music Certification

Register for Composition and Creativity Summer Institute: Composing for VT Chamber Artists Choir


jeremy and TURN

Jeremy Hill rehearsing his new work Altered Phantasy with TURNmusic at the 2021 Summer Institute

First Steps in Music Certification Course with Betsy Greene, Past-President of FAME

Class Dates and Times: July 25-29 (in-person)
Champlain Elementary School
Monday – Friday
8:00AM – 4:00 PM

3 Graduate Credits or 45 hours of PD/Workshop Credit
3 Graduate Credits  - $1,800
Workshop credit only - $1,400

Course Description:
The First Steps in Music curriculum is designed to prepare children to become musical in by being Tuneful, Beatful, and Artful. First Steps in Music for Infants and Toddlers provides developmentally appropriate activities that are well suited for children under three years old with their caregivers. First Steps in Music for Preschool and Beyond provides activities for children as young as three but appropriate for any aged child that needs to further develop their tuneful, beatful, and artful abilities. Folk songs and rhymes as well as classical music are the primary source materials that are used to develop their musical minds and abilities. Created by Dr. John Feierabend, this pedagogical approach contains everything you need to lead a music class for preschool and early elementary students, including Echo Songs, Call-and-Response Songs, Simple Songs, SongTales, Action Songs, Circle Games, Beat Motion Activities, and more. Ample time will be spent on exploring complete lesson plans for a three-year curriculum. Participants who successfully complete this course will receive an official certificate of completion from the Feierabend Association for Music Education. 

Betsy Greene teaches K-5 general music in Burlington, VT. She also started and helps manage a First Steps in Music program for the community at her school (since 2000). Betsy holds a B.M.Ed. from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam and a M.M.Ed from the Hartt School, University of Hartford. She is both Orff-Schulwerk and Kodaly certified (all three levels).

In addition to teaching children, Betsy is a frequent clinician for general music and music literacy workshops in Vermont School Districts and local music education conferences as well as a teacher of graduate courses for music educators in the summer (Conversational Solfege and First Steps in Music).  She is a FAME-endorsed teacher trainer.

In 1998, Betsy was awarded Outstanding Arts Advocate by the Vermont Alliance for Education and the Burlington City Schools. She received the honor of Vermont Music Teacher of the Year by the Vermont Music Educators Association on 2008. Betsy is a member of the Vermont Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association as well as a founding member and currently the President-Elect of FAME.




Music-COMP Composition and Creativity Summer Institute for Teachers - Composing For Choir

Class Dates and Times:  Monday Evenings, 6-9PM via Zoom (Remote)
July 11, July 18, August 1

TBD: Individually Scheduled 1-on-1 meetings

Rehearsal and Performance with VT Chamber Artists
Saturday, September 24th, Burlington, VT
In-person encouraged, remote option available

3 Graduate Credits or 45 hours of PD/Workshop Credit
3 Graduate Credits  - $1,800
Workshop credit only - $1,400

Course Description:
Each participant will have an opportunity to write a choral piece and have it be performed and recorded by Vermont Chamber Artists, under the direction of Jessie Pierpont. In addition to learning composition pedagogy and assessment, the focus of this course is composing your own choral work. 

Music-COMP's summer institute gives teachers a chance to explore the creative side of their musicianship. Over the course of the class, participants will compose an original work which will then be rehearsed and performed by Vermont Chamber Artists. Participants will be guided through the entire composition process with feedback and support as they compose. Remote sessions will 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. Outside these sessions, there is time devoted to work on individual compositions as well as 1-on-1 feedback sessions with summer institute faculty. 

Topics Covered Include:
Composing Strategies for choral music
Text Setting 
Text Copyright
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.

Dr. Matthew LaRocca is a professor of composition and theory at the University of Vermont, and the Executive Director of Music-COMP. He is also the Artistic Advisor and Project Conductor of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

Stefanie Weigand is the Director of Education for Music-COMP, and member of the NAFME Council for Choral Education. She directs the Northern VT Unversity Johnson Chorale, and has served as the President of VT chapter of ACDA.






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!