Each summer, Lori instructs her graduate course which she designed as a reflection of her mentoring work and numerous authored articles through both The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, IL. During the summer of 2021, Lori had the fortune of collaborating with practicing teachers ranging from K-12 Choral, General, and Instrumental Music Programs from Arkansas, the Bahamas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, the Middle East (military station), Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.



Dr. Lori Schwartz Reichl

Learn more about Lori.



Making Key Changes: Refresh Your Music Program



3 graduate credits



This course is open to ALL subject areas and levels of teaching. Are you in search of mentorship and motivation? Make key changes to refresh your teaching techniques in face-to-face and/or remote instruction! Course assignments are developed with the intention of immediate implementation to your classroom/program. Discover a successful plan to organize efficiently, instruct skillfully, manage behavior effectively, communicate clearly, and collaborate inclusively. Topics will include refreshing various parts of your teaching, including an inclusive vision, mission statement, motto, handbook/syllabus, classroom management, routines, behavior plan, administrative support, recruitment/retention, collaborative opportunities, adjudication/assessment, organizational procedures, professional development, cultural diversity, and other topics relevant to participants' needs. Make key changes to refresh your teaching!

The course is based on Lori's diverse experiences of teaching in rural schools, Title I schools, and a school assigned to corrective action; opening two new secondary schools (one in Pennsylvania, one in Maryland); supervising collegiate music education interns; and consulting for various school systems. She presents the thoughts, strategies, and techniques she employs in collaboration with all program individuals – students, families, colleagues, administration, and community supporters to ensure a positive, productive, and inclusive learning environment. The course is a creative mentorship and motivational approach intended to encourage reflection, inspiration, collaboration, creation, and ultimately – refreshment!

The course content is extracted from Lori's monthly column: Peruse the readings! 



Session 1 - Perception Is Everything

Session 2 - Routines & Relationships Rule

Session 3 - Stronger Together: Create, Collaborate, and Connect with Administrators

Session 4 - Build It and They Will Come: Recruiting & Retaining Students

Session 5 - Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Am I Providing Opportunities Reflecting All?

Session 6 - Get With the Program: Organizing and Collaborating Performances

Session 7 - Preparation for Assessment: Succeeding at Adjudications and Constructing Selected-Response Assessments

Session 8 - The End is Near: Creating End-of-Year Procedures, Goals, and Gratitude


Date, Time, Location, Registration

The University of the Arts 

  • Course

    • AMUS*605: Making Key Changes: Refresh Your Music Program

  • Summer 2022  

    • July 18 - 22, 2022

    • 5 days (Monday through Friday)

    • 8:30 am - 4:30 pm EDT

  • ON-CAMPUS at Villanova University 

  • Registration: Search Course Code Number:  AMUS*605

VanderCook College of Music 

  • Course 

    • 7522: Making Key Changes: Refresh Your Music Program

  • Summer 2022

    • June 9  - July 28, 2022

    • 8 days (Thursdays only)

    • 11:00 am ET - 2:30 pm ET*  

      • *Exception = The course meeting time for Thursday, June 9 will be from 7 pm ET - 10 pm ET to accommodate those teachers still working in their schools.

  • ONLINE (Zoom) via VanderCook College of Music

  • Registration



"Dr. Reichl is the best! I took her class at The University of the Arts two summers ago. It changed the way I approach my job and build my program. Lori challenged me to become more thoughtful about every aspect of being a music teacher, including designing assessments, recruiting students, ensuring equitable opportunities and representation, developing program policies, building program culture and identity, and interacting with parents. 'Making Key Changes' gave me tools to both better my program and improve my professionalism—tools that I still use every day." – Elementary General Music Teacher & High School Choral Director, Pennsylvania


"If you are a band director, at any level, looking to establish or build your program, “Making Key Changes” is a must-take course! The course was one of the most practically valuable I have taken in my graduate studies. Every lesson and assignment involved creating content and materials specifically tailored to your teaching situation and program. I left the course with a freshly updated and aesthetically pleasing band handbook, a rehearsal schedule slide template, an end of year checklist and even a band logo! As a third-year high school band director, they proved crucial in better organizing my program. Even though we accessed the course virtually, Dr. Reichl created a friendly student-centered environment where I was able to get valuable feedback from my peers on each of their items. Most importantly, I left the course with a sense of vision for my program that has been an inspiration for the increase in quality for me and my students."  – High School Band Director, Pennsylvania


“When I registered for the course Making Key Changes: Refreshing Your Program, I thought the content would be very band-centric and that I’d have to stretch myself to make it applicable to my position. I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of the course’s content was applicable to my teaching situation. The assignments allowed me to focus on making changes to enhance my program in a variety of ways. I created a motto and vision for our music program, something that is not unique to the “band world”. These really will help communicate my goals to the many different stakeholders in my program. The other assignments - for instance, creating a lesson prelude and program note for a piece of repertoire - helped me think about ways I can be more purposeful in my choral repertoire selections as well as the instructional approaches I should take to teach them. The presentations gave way to facilitating meaningful discussions within the professional learning community the instructor established in the course between teachers from a variety of different strands of music education. Sharing perspectives with each other helped synthesize how best to apply the content presented to a band, orchestra, choir, and general music situation. Throughout this course, I found myself thinking about how beneficial it would be to my district’s music department if we all took the course together. It would be a great way for us to strengthen our district program because we could discuss our individual philosophical approaches and develop a clear vision that incorporates all of the differences between us. I would recommend this course to many of my colleagues for this reason as well as its overall benefit to an individual music educator’s professional development.” – Elementary Vocal/General Music Teacher, New Jersey


“Taking the course Making Key Changes last summer was great! I took this course online through VanderCook College of Music. From the discussions amongst colleagues of different schools, levels, and programs to the assignments about refreshing our programs, the entire course was beneficial. The discussions were based on articles written by our own professor that allowed us to think about our perspectives on each topic and share them with the class. The best part of this course was the assignments! Every assignment I did was specialized for my program, which is choir. Additionally, we were able to receive feedback from our classmates/colleagues which was helpful, and then from Mrs. Reichl (now Dr. Reichl, which is amazing. I’m so proud of her!). I enjoyed my experience during this course. It was phenomenal!” – High School General Music Teacher & Choir Director, Nassau, The Bahamas


"After graduating college in 2020 and starting my teaching career on a cart during the middle of a worldwide pandemic, I finished up my first school year wanting to make major improvements as a whole. Shifting from a cart to a classroom of my own seemed very intimidating until I was given the opportunity to learn from Lori. Lori provided me with the safe space to grow as an educator, musician, and person. Despite our different musical backgrounds, I was able to soak in her knowledge like a sponge and apply it to my own classroom and ensemble. Lori’s program has challenged me to provide as many mirrors and windows for my students as possible. Her feedback on various assignments, from behavioral management plans to concert programs, was extremely beneficial. I cannot begin to thank Lori enough for everything I learned from her course. I have been able to revamp the way music is looked at within my school building, pulling off successful K-3 concert programs AND getting 72 students to join 4th-5th grade choir (which is apparently the biggest number they have seen in school history). I feel more confident as an educator after working with Lori - so much so that I keep mentioning the idea of having her come work with my department at some point so all 9 of us can grow and thrive as a department. Lori has also continually inspired me to become a lifelong learner. I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten to learn from Lori Schwartz Reichl and to continue to utilize her as a mentor throughout my teaching career. I cannot stress enough how much I have gained just from knowing and getting to work with Lori Schwartz Reichl." - Elementary General/Vocal Music Teacher, Pennsylvania


"I’ve been taking UArts Summer Courses for 6 years now and Lori’s course was one of the most impactful for my teaching career. I took this course virtually last summer and really enjoyed it. I ended up reflecting a lot on my own teaching and was highly motivated to start the new year after hearing Lori’s perspective on different topics. All of the coursework will not go to waste! I use slide shows and documents that were created while taking this course everyday. Lori has a lot of energy and passion for education which will rub off on you for sure. I even had 2 articles of my own published after working with Lori and reading many of her own published works. You won’t be disappointed!" – Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher, New Jersey


“I have enjoyed and found incredibly valuable the training and professional development that Lori Schwartz Reichl has provided through her course 'Making Key Changes: Refresh Your Music Program.' The course covered a wide variety of topics addressing music teaching, ranging from creating a program motto, logo, and mission statement, to building a restorative behavior plan and preparing for regular administrative meetings. Lori speaks openly about building these concepts from her own experiences, and while those don’t match what I have in my program, I feel very strongly that the presented information and skills easily apply to band, orchestra, choir, general music, or any other music courses, at any education level. While giving examples from her experience, Lori focused on the concepts and frameworks behind renewing a music program, which allows for flexibility in implementing them rather than dwelling on feeling limited to specific examples. Lori gave plenty of opportunities for reflection, discussion, and feedback on our individual situations, and her presentation guided conversation and thought on how we could apply these ideas in our own programs. I am incredibly grateful for having been able to have Lori coach and refine my planning. I am eagerly looking forward to using what I have learned and created in my classroom, and I feel a great sense of renewal, refreshment, and excitement for the coming year and for years to come.” – Middle School Choir Director & High School Piano/Electric Keyboard Teacher/Assistant Choir Director, Indiana