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Music Teacher Education Programs

(found programs from 753 schools)

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Below is a directory (broken down by state) of all of the Music Teacher Education programs we could find, from over 1,700 accredited colleges and universities across the US.

As a teacher, you can present a unique form of aesthetic expression as an integral component to the education of students of all ages. Teachers in the discipline of music are specially educated in their area of expertise and may become certified educators. You can complete your specialty degree and enjoy an autonomous environment with flexible teaching guidelines for successful creative, artistic development in your classroom.

EducationDegree.com includes a range of information to help you make an informed decision about your degree of education. At the bottom of the page is a listing of accredited Music Education programs where you can request information from multiple schools.

As a channel to social studies, important events in history and the humanities, the evolution of music goes hand-in-hand with learning the cultural aspects and historical events of world communities. As reported in USA Today, the Teacher of the Year in 2007 was a music teacher who integrated music with other disciplines to provide students with the understanding of social injustice, racial issues and the importance of equality.

Since the dawn of humanity, music has provided people with a vehicle for artistic, emotional and intellectual expression.

In the modern world, studies have linked music education to a host of desirable outcomes including higher SAT scores, lower drop out rates, better emotional health, higher GPAs, and greater financial achievement in adulthood.

A career as a music educator offers those with musical talent and ability an appealing opportunity to continue studying and practicing in their chosen discipline while opening the world of music - and all its joys - to a new generation.

Music Education Job Description

Music teachers are employed in a variety of capacities from elementary classroom music teacher to high school band director. They work in public and private schools at all levels teaching general music, vocal music, instrumental music, or some combination of these specialties.

Vocal music teachers work with individuals or groups of students developing vocal performance skills. Instrumental music teachers teach beginning, intermediate, and advanced technique classes and direct band, orchestra or small ensembles.

Music teachers frequently put in additional time outside the regular school day for student auditions, rehearsals and concerts.

Music Education Requirements

To teach music in a public school, you will need at least a bachelor's degree in music or music education. Many music teachers have a master's degree as well.

MENC: The National Association for Music Education recommends that students interested in pursuing a music major at the college level be able to read music and have private instruction in piano and another primary instrument or voice.

In addition, you will need to be a serious student of music in both theory and practice. In an article for MENC about what it takes to be a music major, Louis A. Menchaca, associate professor of music and director of instrumental music at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, identified four key areas which music majors must master: music history, music theory, applied studio study and keyboard skills.

Music teachers must be competent in a variety of instruments and vocal techniques, so teacher preparation programs expose students to a variety of musical instruments and skills - not just the student's specialty instrument.

All 50 states require music teachers to be licensed. Exact requirements vary but most states require a bachelor's degree of education, student teaching internship and a passing score on a comprehensive exam such as the Praxis. You should check with the education department of the state in which you plan to teach for more specific information.

Curriculum Information for Music Education

If you have a passion for music and a desire to share your knowledge with students, a carefully prepared curriculum is essential to becoming a well-prepared music teacher. The preparation of the classroom, activities and course design is vital to successful classroom learning. Course curriculum may include the following classes:

Introduction to Music Appreciation

This course introduces you to the philosophy, history and current trends of teaching music appreciation to students of all ages. Your personal philosophical perspective combined with learning theories will guide the objectives that motivate your students. The evolution of music as an historical perspective is discussed as a learning experience that defines how the masters’ contributions have impacted and developed classical to modern music.

Guidelines for teaching methods may also be discussed and explored. The following components of teaching may include:

  • Preparing lesson plans and curriculum
  • Critiquing oral presentations and performances
  • Strategies for classroom collaboration and maintaining discipline
  • Preparing and organizing students for presentations

Teaching Music to Diverse Cultural Populations

As a music educator, you may be expected to understand the diverse dynamics of multicultural students in the public or private school. Learning theories and conceptual frameworks guide you with the integration of diverse music experiences in the classroom curricula. Common themes and contributory artists are introduced into the classroom for study, appreciation and discussion. Students are encouraged to perform various musical interpretations in the classroom.

Student activities are designed with best practices as guided by grand learning theories and the incorporation of historical musical themes. Pedagogy in music is approached by increasing awareness of diverse cultures, interpersonal communication and appropriate discussion of content.

The Human Experience in Music

The artistic experience of music is essential to the understanding of the humanities through creating, listening and movement. Music teachers respect the contributions of each unique student and design a stimulating and creative environment for classroom activities. Aspiring teachers will analyze music as related to the elements of harmony, timbre, dynamics, form and melody.

Conducting, score reading and rehearsal techniques are explored and described as related to the realm of education. A strong foundation of music learning theories is also incorporated into the playing and teaching of music for young children to adolescents. This course may include the assignments that are related to teaching large and small ensembles, providing individual and class teaching techniques and the adaption of learning styles for unique students in the classroom.

Curriculum and Design in Music Instruction

Music requires a well-designed curriculum that creates a creative and stimulating music program. Learning styles for children and adolescents vary and well-planned programs are easily adapted to conform to the needs of individual learners. Curriculum that is constructed developmentally appropriate for young children generally encourages appreciation through music through the following methods:

  • Listening
  • Movement
  • Performing
  • Evoking Emotions

Teaching adolescents may present more challenges due their age-related social and developmental characteristics. Music taught to secondary students may be more successful if it is related to their identity, cultural aspects and their desire for recognition. Theoretical frameworks of learning guide the design and evaluation of music curriculum.

Music Teaching Practicum

As your curriculum progresses to the completion, you may be required to complete a teaching practicum that provides you with the experience of teaching music to an actual classroom. As a student teacher, you may choose your age preference and construct a project for your students to complete. In addition, you may use the learning theories, educational research and evaluation tools to evaluate your class activities, project or lesson plan for successful outcomes. Successful teachers apply patience, a sense of humor and a dedicated focus to the classroom planning for best practices of learning.

If you're passionate about becoming a music teacher, check out the schools below to get information on music education degrees.

Music Education Career Outlook

The job outlook is generally sunny for prospective music teachers. A 2008 study by the American Association for Employment in Education identified general music, vocal music and instrumental music as teaching specialties with a balanced supply and demand. This means candidates in this field can reasonably expect to find a desirable position - especially if they are willing to relocate.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that median annual wages of elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180 in 2008. Many music teachers supplement their regular salary by sponsoring extracurricular activities such as marching band or by offering private music lessons.

Experienced music educators also may choose to pursue certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. NBPTS certification does not replace state certification. Instead, it is an additional certificate that recognizes a higher level of professional experience and achievement and sometimes results in a pay increase.

Online Music Teacher Education Programs

If you currently hold a bachelor's degree and are a certified music educator, you can opt to maintain your current position and still earn a graduate degree through an online university. Bachelor's degrees in music education are not available online, but several schools offer online degrees at the master's level, and a few schools offer doctoral degrees.

The way online programs are structured varies somewhat between schools, but the majority of online programs in music education include a capstone project and/or internship once all other units are successfully completed. The time it takes to finish an online degree depends greatly on a student's work ethic and schedule. Master's and doctorate degrees may take as little as 18 months or as long as two-and-a-half years to complete. Classes cover topics such as the psychology and sociology of music, music history, the philosophy of music education, music technology, advanced conducting, music theory and pedagogy.

Online degree programs are ideal for music educators who already have experience in the field and are self-driven and disciplined. Those who learn better with the structure and discipline of the classroom environment may wish to enroll in on-campus courses.

Three options for online programs in music education include those offered by Boston University, Kent State University and the East Carolina University School of Music.

Boston University's Master of Music in music education program is designed for people who already have a bachelor's degree in music education and want to advance their careers through higher learning. Students have the opportunity to interact with professors and colleagues through email, message boards and online chat sessions.

Kent State University also offers a Master of Music in music education. In addition to possessing a bachelor's degree in music education, applicants also must be fully licensed in at least one state and have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. In 2011, Kent State was ranked among the nation's top 80 public research universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The Master of Music in music education program offered by the East Carolina University School of Music consists of 36 semester hours and includes courses in curriculum issues, trends in music education and pedagogy.


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Are we missing any schools or programs? If so, please let us know! We appreciate your help in making this the best directory of Education Degree Programs on the web. You can send us an email at schools@educationdegree.com.