What is a Music Education Degree? How do I get a music education degree?

One can consider music education to be the transmission of information about musical expression. A contemporary academic setting, such as a school, or a platform that allows peer-to-peer learning, such as internet-based learning, could be used to achieve this goal. In this general category of study, there are several options, the most prominent of which are the Master of Music with a focus on education and the Master of Education in Music. Most programs include courses in pedagogy, principles of music education, music literacy, and research.

Scholars enrolled in music education degree programs are often able to maintain a personal musical practice, strengthening their expressive and technical abilities. Additionally, one could gain an increased network of collaborators to advance their art, including peers and instructors. Teaching skills may be useful when sharing music with friends and students alike.

Tuition for each program should be checked individually. Prices could be determined by a number of factors, such as the country in which the school is located. These factors include the facilities, such as laboratories, to which students have access.

A graduate with a Master’s in Music Education Degree might find employment in a music education center. Administrative positions may include duties such as community outreach, program planning, and facility management. Another common entry-level position for music teachers is tutoring. Several options are available, including attending an established school or advertising as a freelancer. Graduates with professional experience or significant achievements may find jobs teaching music theory, performance, or education at colleges and universities.

There are many options for music education degrees available both online and in the classroom.

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Why music education is so significant

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) lists music as one of 18 distinct subjects that are considered to be part of a well-rounded education. Music education offers specific benefits that extend beyond improving learners’ musical abilities.

The National Association for Music Education has identified 20 benefits of music education. Here are just a few of them:

  • Enhancing language and reasoning abilities
  • Making memorization easier
  • Developing creative thinking
  • Developing imagination and intellectual curiosity
  • Developing self-confidence and emotional maturity

Music education has also been linked to a variety of desirable outcomes. Better SAT scores, fewer dropouts, better emotional health, higher GPAs, and greater financial achievement in adulthood are examples.

Earning a Music Education Degree

Typically, to teach music in a public school, you need a bachelor’s degree in music education (or a music degree with an accompanying teacher preparation program). Depending on the state you plan to work in, you’ll also need a license. A master’s degree will be required if you are interested in teaching at the college level or being a music director.

Bachelor of Music Education Degree

Depending on the school, bachelor’s programs differ somewhat. There are some schools that offer concentrations in areas such as instrumental, choral, and general education that may require dual majors in music and music education. Be sure you understand what the music program requires and that it fits with your career goals while you are exploring institutions.

Bachelor of Music Education Degree Requirements :

The fundamentals of music education are as follows: These bachelor’s degree programs are comparable to others. Typical examples are:

  • High school diploma or equivalent (you may be required to provide transcripts)
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA)—usually 2.5 but sometimes 3.0—is required.
  • ACT and SAT score ranges are specified.
  • A personal statement or essay about why you want to be a teacher.
  • Letters of recommendation

Many music education programs, however, require a live audition to demonstrate your musical abilities. An audition could include any or all of the following:

  • Performance on your principal instrument.
  • Sightsinging
  • Sightreading
  • Piano performance
  • An interview about your interest in teaching music

Curriculum For A Bachelor’s In Music Education Degree

Because music teachers must be proficient in a wide range of instruments and voice methods, teacher preparation programs expose their students to a wide range of musical instruments and skills, not just their own specializations.

Some schools offer specialization sections or tracks, mainly in instrumental, choral, or general education. For all programs, you must be a proficient pianist. Some combine a music major (with a focus on your individual instruments) with a music education major (in which you learn all aspects of teaching music).

General classes for all types of music ed majors might include:

  • Introduction to Music Appreciation: This course introduces you to the philosophy, history, and current trends of teaching music appreciation to students of all ages.
  • Teaching Music to Diverse Cultural Populations: As a music educator, you need to understand and respect the diverse multicultural backgrounds of your students. Diverse musical experiences should be a formal aspect of your classroom’s curriculum, with artists from different places and time periods introduced into the classroom for study, appreciation, and discussion.
  • The Human Experience in Music: The artistic experience of music is essential to the understanding of the humanities through creating, listening, and movement. Aspiring teachers will analyze music as related to the elements of harmony, timbre, dynamics, form, and melody. Conducting, score reading, rehearsal techniques, and music theory may also be taught in this class.
  • Curriculum and Design in Music Instruction: As a teacher, you will most likely be responsible for developing a creative and stimulating curriculum.
  • As your curriculum progresses to completion, which should take about four years, you will typically be required to complete a teaching practicum that provides you with the experience of teaching music in an actual classroom. You can usually choose the grade level you want to teach and, to some extent, the focus of the curriculum.

Music Education Master’s Degree

The decision to pursue a profession in music instruction makes a lot of sense. In practice, earnings for music instructors often rise with the completion of a master’s degree. Furthermore, graduate material is more complicated and generally more intellectually interesting than undergraduate education. Finally, the students you will encounter in graduate school, whether in person or online, will challenge you to improve both your skills and methods, and they may become life-long friends and collaborators.

Most programs take roughly two years to finish.

Entrance Requirements

While the prerequisites for a master’s degree in music education vary by school, most programs need the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in music or music education
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Teaching experience (not necessarily required, but often encouraged)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Teaching or performance video

Curriculum For A Master’s In Music Education Degree

Below is a sampling of courses you might take as a graduate student in a master’s level in music program:

  • Power, Marginalization, and Privilege in Music Education: This social justice–oriented course aims to create reflective students who can recognize the ways in which music is impacted by bias and privilege on a personal and societal scale. Upon completion of the course, students will be informed practitioners who are able to advocate for change that benefits the industry and their students alike.
  • Community Music Perspectives: Students in this course will explore the growth and development of community music through project-based work that culminates in the ability to develop a personal vision for community music.
  • American Music: This course will immerse students in the various influences that impacted music in the colonies. A wide range of music styles will be studied, including African-American, Spanish-Mexican, Indian, and European.

music education

Online Music Education Degree

If you already have a bachelor’s degree and are a certified music educator, you can continue working while earning a graduate degree from an online university. Bachelor’s degrees in music education are normally not available online, but numerous colleges provide master’s degrees online, and a few schools offer doctoral degrees.

The format of online programs varies slightly amongst schools, but the majority of online music education programs include a capstone project and/or internship after all other modules are satisfactorily completed. The length of time it takes to complete an online degree is mostly determined by a student’s work ethic and schedule. Master’s and doctorate degrees can be completed in as little as 18 months or as long as two and a half years. Classes span themes such as music psychology and sociology, music history, music education philosophy, music technology, advanced conducting, music theory, and pedagogy.

Online degree programs are appropriate for music educators with prior experience who are self-motivated and disciplined. Those who learn best in an organized and disciplined atmosphere may benefit from taking on-campus classes.

Music Education Degree Certification and licensing

All 50 states require music teachers who work in public schools to be licensed. Exact criteria vary by state, but most need a bachelor’s degree in education, a student teaching internship, and a passing score on a comprehensive exam like the Praxis. For more precise information, contact the education department of the state in which you intend to teach.

Experienced music educators may also seek certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. A C-certification is a voluntary certificate that recognizes a higher degree of professional expertise and achievement and can lead to a pay raise.

Music Education Degree Salary in Some States

The median compensation for all music teachers in October 2019 was $52,827, according to ZipRecruiter. The top 10% of music professors made $95,500 per year.

ZipRecruiter also reported that in October 2019, average salaries were highest in these states:

New York: $57,809.

Massachusetts: $57,399

New Hampshire: $56,406.

Maryland: $54,272

Nebraska: $53,287

Music teachers will have moderate employment possibilities over the next ten years, according to CareerExplorer, with 18,500 job postings. 14,700 of those job opportunities will be for extra music teachers, while 3,800 will be to replace retiring music teachers.

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Music Education Degree Jobs

Your music education is a significant investment that you anticipate to pay off by giving you with many more options than you would have had you not pursued it. In today’s workplace, it’s critical that you not only comprehend what you’ll learn in your chosen music degree program, but also how that information will help you land your ideal career. This knowledge is especially necessary if you plan to study music; in this famously competitive field, having a competitive advantage is essential. Thankfully, the industry’s breadth is much broader than you may think. The following are a handful of the most promising job options for music graduates:

1. Performing Artist

For many music students, nothing compares to the exhilaration of performing in front of a live audience. This is an important part of becoming a professional musician, but there’s a lot more to this dream job than screamers. Musicians also devote a significant amount of time to improving their craft, perfecting recordings in studios, and collaborating with agencies. It’s not an easy road, but many people find it extremely rewarding. A music degree not only provides technical training, but it also helps prospective singers and instrumentalists get a better sense of the industry’s demands. Additionally, performing artists develop a strong professional network from which they might seek assistance.

2. Composer and Song Writer

If you’re always coming up with fresh song or album ideas, you might be best suited for a profession in composition or songwriting. A wide range of genres and artists might be involved in this endeavor. Despite the fact that many composers are talented performers, many prefer to remain in the background. Others value the path’s inherent versatility, as it allows them to work with a wide range of brilliant artists to realize their vision.

While visions of Beethoven or Mozart frantically scribbling away may come to mind when thinking about composers, the endeavor is becoming increasingly computerized. Today’s composers and song writers use modern notation and engraving software to create their works. A musical background gives those who want to incorporate technological tools into their job an advantage as technology evolves.

3. Music Teacher

“What do you plan to do with your degree—teach?” doubters may ask music students when they meet them. While not all music degrees end up in the classroom or in a private studio, some aim to instill a love of music in future generations above all else.

Music education is a field that is surprisingly diverse. Teachers may work one-on-one with students or with large groups of students. To succeed in education, instructors must possess a unique blend of skills, including musical ability, empathy, and the ability to command respect.

4. Music programmer

Consumers today use digital platforms to discover and follow musicians, from Spotify to SiriusXM. Music programmers combine technical expertise with industry knowledge to create high-quality stations and playlists for listeners across several platforms. Programmers may also be in charge of cultivating strong relationships with key industry figures in order to ensure that the platforms they represent provide high-quality podcasts, videos, and other material.

Although the music profession is competitive, a great education can pay off handsomely as you seek your ideal job. Your education will expose you to a wide range of opportunities, allowing you to establish a name for yourself while doing what you enjoy.

5. Production Manager

A good concert necessitates a great deal of planning and coordination. In this process, production managers play a crucial role. Production managers are in charge of booking performers, coordinating sound and lighting teams, maintaining vendor records, and supervising budgeting considerations, depending on the type of venue. Production managers may also be in charge of leasing agreements, labor agreements, and insurance plans.

6. Sound Engineer

Music production involves a lot more than most people realize. A quality record requires more than a talented vocalist or instrumentalist; audio engineers labor tirelessly to guarantee that the performers’ abilities are appropriately reflected in the end product.

Audio engineers are commonly linked with recording studios, but they can perform a wide range of tasks. Many audio engineers work in concert halls or theaters. Others may provide excellent sound at sporting events or business functions. Large teams of sound engineers are frequently used during events, with each person addressing a distinct issue. Systems engineers, monitor sound engineers, and wireless microphone engineers, for example, may be part of the audio team for a huge concert.

7. Talent Agent

While social media has made it possible for a range of musicians who might not otherwise have had a chance to make it big, talent agencies are still necessary for most artists’ success. Music agents are best known for booking appearances on behalf of their clients, but their work goes well beyond that. Agents assist musicians in obtaining media appearances, interviews, and even tour sponsorships, in addition to dealing with venues. Agents’ careful coordination can help artists avoid overextending themselves by preventing them from going too far between appearances.

8. Record Producer

While record producers and audio engineers have many of the same responsibilities, the breadth of their work can vary greatly. Sound engineers usually concentrate on technical aspects like equalization. Producers can deal with these technological issues, but they also have a lot of aesthetic leeway. Some record producers, for example, actively participate in songwriting, while others may make considerable alterations to existing material in order to create a cohesive single or album.

In addition to directing and altering tracks, many producers are in charge of administrative tasks like personnel and budgeting. Producers must show not only tremendous technical and aesthetic expertise, but also a broad awareness of the music industry and what it takes for a performer to succeed in a notoriously competitive field in order to succeed.

9. Jingle Writer/Commercial Composer

Commercial composers, also known as “jingle writers,” create music primarily for marketing purposes. Commercial composers must think about not only how to write a catchy tune, but also whether or not it will appeal to a broad audience. They are also in charge of encapsulating a company’s brand or mission in a few notes.

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