Music Education

What Is It?:

Music Education develops skills, concepts, and methodologies in music, including music theory and composition, musicianship, history, arranging, orchestration, improvisation, and conducting; teaching with technology; solo performance techniques acquired through private instrumental or vocal study; vocal and instrumental techniques, pedagogy, and literature related to solo and ensemble performance; and the relationship of music to other fields of knowledge. This curriculum prepares its graduates for teaching music from kindergarten through grade 12. Students complete a concentration in instrumental, choral, or elementary-general music education.

For more information, please visit the School of Music.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • EPSY 201—Educational Psychology
  • MUS 101—Music Theory and Practice I
  • MUS 107—Aural Skills I

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

Music educators have teaching careers available in preschools through high schools, adult learning centers, and private studio teaching.

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Adult Education Teacher
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Education Management
  • Educational Resource
  • Educational Therapist
  • Elementary Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Tutor
  • Vocational Rehab Counselor

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • American String Teachers Association: dedicated to the promotion and advancement of string playing, teaching, and orchestral development. Offers professional development for string performers and string educators, including workshops, technique masterclasses, and social events.
    • Illinois Student Association of Music Scholars: Augments the academic experience, scholarship, and community of students in musicology and related fields of music scholarship through community interaction and social engagement.
    • Student Education Association: offers professional opportunities to learn about issues teachers face while providing students with the skills and experiences necessary to become the best teachers. We also focus on community outreach and political action; serving as an organization for well-rounded, top-notch, future leading educators.

Related Skills:

  • Ability to concentrate and practice musical instruments for long periods
  • Ability to make critical observations
  • Ability to read musical notes accurately
  • Basic tools of self-promotion
  • Confidence
  • Creativity
  • Competencies in business management, computers, or marketing to broaden employment possibilities.
  • Flexibility regarding work schedules
  • Good finger responses
  • Good listener
  • Positive attitude 
  • Team player but also ability to work alone
  • Works well under pressure

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Music Education, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Music Education.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Music Education.  These organizations include Music Teachers National Association and Illinois Music Educators Association.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Music Education, visit Undergraduate Programs.