Summer Courses

Each summer, I'm proud to partner with University of the Arts and others to present relevant topics for music educators and creators, sharing practical, effective and field-tested content that can be put to use in the classroom, studio and rehearsal hall. 

Summer 2024 - TEACHING MUSIC THEORY for University of the Arts !

July 15 - 19, 2024 at Villanova University (near Philadelphia) - to register, visit!

For anyone looking for methods and materials for teaching music theory (including AP Music Theory) in an effective and compelling (....and fun) way. 

Maybe you’re a band, strings, or chorus teacher who’s been asked to teach Music Theory for the first time: it’s been years since you had a theory class yourself and you don’t know where to begin! Or, perhaps you’re just looking for fresh ideas and best practices for the harmony and aural theory (solfege, ear training) teaching you already do. Includes curriculum, resources, pedagogy, games, tech (& more) useful for introductory/fundamental through Advanced Placement theory courses. 


All you need to establish, grow, and/or improve your elementary school or middle school band program. 

Topics include recruitment/retention, hacks for common instrument issues, small group lessons/sectionals, method books and other resources, warm-ups and tuning, ensemble rehearsal, classroom management, selecting repertoire, score prep, incorporating games and challenges, guest artists/commissions, and more! 

Held in-person on Villanova University's beautiful campus!

Taught by veteran director, widely-published composer/author, and Alfred Music clinician, Dr. Scott Watson.

(Above: Panel discussion w/Scott Watson, Vince Gassi (composer) and Chris Bernotas (Alfred Editor, composer)

Composing and Arranging for School Bands
(UArts course name  "Inspiring Artistry in Band")

For those interested in writing music for concert bands at all levels - whether for your own ensemble, or in pursuit of publication - this course will help writers take their music to the next level! Via presentation/demonstration, score study, and writing projects with coaching/feedback we'll explore topics such as the art and craft of composition, conventions of writing at various levels (elementary, intermediate, high school and beyond), criteria related to the grading system, preparing the score/parts, commissions, and tips for submitting music to publishers. 

Held in-person on Villanova University's beautiful campus!


TESTIMONIAL: "I flew across the country to take a week-long composition course taught by Dr. Scott Watson. The course was very organized and well put together. It was a joy to attend class every day. More importantly, Dr. Watson took time out to review my compositions and give me suggestions. His insights were extremely thoughtful and professional. His encouragement and belief in me have already begun to change the direction of my career.   Dr. Watson is that rare teacher who is able to connect and influence in an unforgettable way."  - Kelly Dugger, M.M., RPT, Composer/Conductor (

Lights, Camera...Learning!

This online, multi-week course is for educators interested in learning how to create effective and attractive educational videos especially in today’s remote learning environment.

Offered by University of the Arts this July (2021), “Lights, Camera...Learning!” (3 grad. credits) allows video novices to learn basic-to-intermediate video production techniques, while participants with more experience/confidence have the flexibility to go deeper.

Topics include: screen recording; built-in camera and external camera recording; video editing; adding titles, transitions, annotations and animations; audio recording/editing; special effects; editing audio and sound effects for video; adding assets (motion backgrounds, theme music, lower 3rds, etc.); and more!

Although aimed at music educators, ANY teacher can participate and benefit. To learn more, or to register, please visit:

NOTE: If you've taken this course before, you can take LEVEL 2, which dives deeper into more expressive videos via different cameras, incorporating more assets, more special effects (i.e. green screen recording), and more.

Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity, by Scott Watson (©2011, Oxford University Press)

Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity

It's never been easier or more fun for students to compose, improvise, arrange, and produce music-related projects! Hands-on experiences with tech tools (web apps, mobile apps, software, Chromebooks, keyboards, recording gear, etc.), project ideas, pedagogical models, and assessment tools for unlocking student creativity. Built around a set of teacher-tested principles, this course gives you all you need to foster creativity with your students. Fun projects include podcasts, loop-based compositions, sound effect stories, notated compositions that can't miss, video scoring and more.  

The primary focus will be on classroom music (general music, music theory, music production) at all levels, but with some applications for instrumental and vocal music.  Perfect for teachers looking for fresh ways to use the technology tools they already have, or those wanting to confidently incorporate technology into their teaching. Other than familiarity with using a personal computer, no specialized software/ hardware knowledge is needed.

(Example Unit: Using a USB Mic with GarageBand)

GarageBand Does It All!

The perfect intersection of ease-of-use and high-end features, GarageBand is hands-down the best entry-level digital audio workstation for educators. We'll cover the program's main features (and more!) and great ways to use it in education, from recording and editing audio, making podcasts, fun loop-based compositions, found-sound drum loops, adding sound effects to a narrated story, scoring video, MIDI file arranging, adding DSP effects (reverb, compression, EQ, autotune), and much more!

Integrating Technology into the K-12 Curriculum

This “Music Tech 101” course includes a survey of the most useful and timely music tech topics and tools for K-12 music education, along with a limited but powerful set of curricular applications. We'll present content at a pace appropriate for those with little or no experience using various technology, yet even more experienced teachers will find helpful ideas, tips and best practices that can be put to use in the classroom right away! 

Topics includes: web resources (content, websites), music technology hardware primer (computer/laptop, MIDI, keyboards, sound system, configuring a workstation), music notation (web and client), digital audio workstation/recording (web and client), creating/using accompaniment tracks (SmartMusic, Audacity, Finale, etc.), productivity tools (web and client), and mobile/iOS music apps.