A Master of Music in Music Education (MM degree) is structured to help licensed and experienced music teachers improve their teaching and research skills. This program prepares teachers for academic leadership positions in curriculum design, mentorship, and study, through the focus on general, choral, or instrumental Music, along with pedagogy and application.
MA in Music Education
A Master of Arts or MA in Music Education is one of the many concentrations from the larger Arts and Humanities stream. This degree emphasizes the finer aspects and nuances of Music, more from an artistic and creative perspective. Typically, MA students are required to undertake original research and submit a thesis for graduation.
Specializations in Masters in Music Education Programs
While a Master’s in Music Education online can help students take up careers in various settings, specializations and concentrations help them enter exclusive and specific sectors in the Music or Music Education industries. Some options of these include but are not limited to:
- Master of Music online
- Master’s in Conducting online
- Master of Music Teaching
- Music History
- Performance Practice
- Music Education and Leadership
- Special Music Education
- Music Pedagogy Courses
- Organizing and Teaching Elementary Music
- Organizing and Teaching Music in General Education
- Advanced Techniques in Choral Music
- Advanced Techniques Instrument Methods
- Special Topics in Music Education Technology: Notation with Sibelius
- Community Music Perspectives
- Music Administration
- Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications
- Power, Marginalization, and Privilege in Music Education
- History and Philosophy in Music Education: Perspectives and Practice
- Toward a 21st-Century Aesthetic of Musicking
- An Ethnographic Exploration of African Musical Cultures
- Traditions in African American Vernacular Music
Some colleges allow students to take up specializations in non-music disciplines, such as Psychology of Learning, Educational Methods, Pedagogy, and more.
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Music Education Online Programs
Most online music degree courses are designed to cater to theoretical, practical, research, and application aspects of Music Education. Curricula of these degrees usually blend advanced musical study with contemporary teaching methods and build skills in incorporating technology into pedagogy, all of which can help graduates develop exciting and engaging lesson plans while inspiring students to learn better. The curriculum of a Master’s in Music Education online program typically includes courses and modules such as:
- Music Technology Pedagogy
- Music Theory
- Introduction to Research in Music Education
- Research Design in Music Education
- Music History
- Assessment and Policy
- Curriculum and Supervision
- Instructional Design in Music Education
- Social and Historical Foundations of American Music Education
- Trends and Issues in Music Education
- Pedagogical Efficacy
- Applied Project in Music Education
- Applied Action
- Introduction to Early Childhood Music Education
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Curriculum in Music Education: Vision and Design
- American Music
- Analytical Techniques
- Jazz and Popular Arranging
- Music in Special Education
In addition to traditional courses, there is a long list of electives to choose from, some of which are:
- Practicum in Supervising and Directing Education and Research
- Music Technology Pedagogy
- Psychology of Music
- Behavior Modification
- Non-Verbal Communication
- Music Perception and Cognition
- Digital Music Education
- Music Bibliography
- Empowering Song: Music with Body, Mind, and Heart
- Descriptive Research in Music
- Experimental Research in Music
- Seminar in Music Therapy
Depending on the program, students may also have to take up directed individual study and comprehensive exams or submit a thesis.
Graduates of Master’s in Music Education online programs acquire a host of skills that will enable them to:
- Teach Music in K-12 or postsecondary schools
- Be part of or conduct orchestras
- Work with record labels and recording studios
- Design curriculum and programs in Music for students
- Compose tunes
- Sing or play instruments
- Examine ways to use Music in therapy.
Accreditation for Masters in Music Education Online Programs
Accreditation is a very important aspect when choosing a Master’s in Music Education online. This is because for most roles in the Music Industry and beyond, only accredited degrees are accepted for employment. For example, specialized accreditation is required for graduates who wish to work in education settings as licensed instructors or teachers.
In the United States, the National Association for Schools of Music (NASM) is the country’s largest and only accrediting body for Music Education. Established in 1924 to help schools build standards for music educators, the agency currently represents some 639 accredited institutional members, including schools, colleges, conservatories, and universities. Accreditation by the NASM adds immense value and prestige to programs and colleges.
Since the NASM is the only authorized body in the United States to provide credentials to music educators, students who wish to do their Master’s in Music Education online are advised to check if their program of choice is accredited by the NASM.
Timeline for graduation from Masters in Music Education Online Programs
As with Master’s programs in several other disciplines, a Master’s in Music Education online takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months to complete. Credit-wise, most programs require 30 to 46 credits. But since online programs generally bring with them flexibility, for working professionals, in particular, students are often allowed to take up to 5 years to complete their degree.
Masters in Music Education Online Programs Admission Requirements
Regardless of the Master’s program one is applying to, any aspiring student is quite obviously required to fulfill certain admission criteria to be successfully accepted into a program. In common practice, students of a Master’s in Music Education online are expected to meet the following requirements:
- Application Form with Application Fee
- Official Undergraduate Academic Transcripts
- A Résumé outlining Academic, Volunteer, and Professional Achievements
- Letters of Recommendation
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 and above
Some colleges may ask applicants to meet one or all of the following additional requirements as well:
- With most colleges and, in particular most Master’s in Music Education programs, applicants are generally required to have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music, specifically Music Education, from an accredited University. Applicants who do not have such a degree may be required to take up certain prerequisite courses, which vary by college.
- Most programs will require a prior work experience of at least two or more years as a music instructor, the most common role being that of a music teacher.
- Students may also have to have to submit a Personal Essay. However, unlike Personal Essays written for other Graduate programs, a Master’s in Music Education would require the student to outline and demonstrate advanced knowledge of Music, including music theory, music history, composition, etc.
Important: Always read the college’s admission requirements or the program guide for exact information on admission criteria, as they vary by college and program.