Masters in Music Education

Sweeping orchestral arrangements and blaring symphonies all contribute to the rich tradition of music that has been part of human history for generations. Today, highly qualified music teachers trained in music theory and assessment ensure this tradition lives on by inspiring their students in the classroom.

Music teachers enter master’s programs in music education to gain a clearer picture of the theoretical concepts behind music creation and appreciation. Music education programs allow teachers to examine and discuss the philosophical and societal foundations of music, in addition to providing them with expanded knowledge of teaching practices.

Graduate programs in music education teach these educators about the best ways to impart musical knowledge on their students. Read on to discover more about the merits of a master’s degree in music education.

How will a graduate degree in music education help me as a teacher?

Think about the last time you spent 24 hours without hearing any music. Music is one of the integral aspects of human existence, and has become intertwined in societal norms. To instill a love and appreciation for music in your students, you need a complete understanding of the psychological and societal foundations of music.

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In a master’s in music education program, teachers examine how students perceive music, and how society’s cultural influences affect how a student consumes music. By reviewing and studying music perception in the past and present, teachers can introduce these concepts into their lesson plans, bridging a student’s current understanding with music with the historical facts.

Music teachers who earn master’s degrees typically move up to teach in higher education. Because classes in higher-level music education place greater emphasis on music theory, master’s programs help teachers gain an expanded understanding of the leading principles of music. Musical theory coursework offers teachers the chance to analyze research on music, such as chord grammar and how students develop skills for harmonization.

While teachers focus on learning more about musical theory, their graduate programs also emphasize how to teach these concepts to students. By investigating composition procedures from contemporary and classical musical works, teachers expand their pedagogical skills, ensuring more students retain knowledge of a work.

Teachers in music education programs typically choose between a variety of specializations. Some typical offerings include jazz, orchestration, band, choir, or general music. Regardless of their specialization, teachers in these courses learn differentiated assessment and instruction techniques for their particular focus. This includes analytical rehearsal procedures, where teachers are better able to determine which students struggle with material, in addition to helping those students correct their mistakes.

Subjects Taught: Master’s in Music Education
  • Inquiry in Music Teaching and Learning Research effective methods of music teaching that foster an inquiry-based learning environment. Learn what motivates students in music class, and how to harness that motivation.
  • Advanced Studies in Teaching Music Explore different teaching materials and strategies that emphasize analytical practices in the music classroom. Learn to address individual student concerns and provide better instructional practices to support these students.
  • Graduate Musical Theory Review and analyze music theory that helps guide future instructional strategies. Topics include voice-learning principles, writing and analyzing composition, and chorale harmonization.
  • Measurement and Evaluation in Music Assess and evaluate your students’ learning outcomes to determine effective and ineffective music teaching practices.
  • Orchestration Learn how to score pieces using orchestral techniques that take into account brass, wind, strings, and mixed ensembles by listening, researching, and analyzing classical works.

As states deal with budgeting concerns and examine all aspects of school funding, more music teachers will need to advocate for their fields. Earning a graduate degree showcases your expertise in the subject, and gives you an expanded look at how students benefit from music education, allowing you to better represent the field.

How will a graduate degree in music education help my students?

Music carries a rich tradition in history that must be continued by future generations. A master’s program in music education provides teachers with opportunities to improve their instructional strategies, fostering a love of music in their students. With an advanced understanding of how to teach complex orchestral arrangements and vocal harmonies, these teachers are better at introducing students to new concepts in music and increasing motivation.

Effective music teaching even carries over to skills outside of the field. Students who participate in orchestra or band during school learn team-building and discipline skills, largely thanks to the leadership of their music teachers. By encouraging practice and hard work in the music classroom, these teachers help their students improve teamwork and motivational skills.

Students consider their music teachers to be coaches, able to introduce strategies and procedures during practice, or rehearsal. Much how effective coaches lead a team’s attitude development and skill-building, an effective music teacher imparts life-long skills to their students, improving their understanding of musical concepts and techniques.

Want to know more?

If you’re interested in learning more about how a master’s degree in music education can help you as a teacher, research and contact schools offering programs in the field. Pick your state from this map representing Master’s in Education programs throughout the country.

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