An online music education degree is perfect for those who want to share their passion for music. Distance learners in master's in music education online programs gain practical experience developing lesson plans, exploring contemporary teaching methods, and implementing learning tools and techniques. Graduates teach general music classes in elementary, middle, and high schools, offer private lessons, lead music groups, and direct bands, choruses, and orchestras. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of postsecondary teaching will grow 13% over the next seven years, making this a great time to earn a music education degree.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Music Education Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||University of Florida||Gainesville, FL|
|2||University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|3||Boston University||Boston, MA|
|4||University of Georgia||Athens, GA|
|5||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|6||University at Buffalo||Buffalo, NY|
|7||University of Minnesota Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN|
|8||Texas Tech University||Lubbock, TX|
|9||San Jose State University||San Jose, CA|
|10||Georgia College and State University||Milledgeville, GA|
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2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Music Education Programs
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University of Florida
|Gainesville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 90%||
Established in 1858, UF values research, innovation, and academic excellence. To that end, the university operates over 200 research and service centers. UF also emphasizes student-centered learning and offers programs across many disciplines.
Students with an affinity for teaching and music can pursue UF's online master's degree in music education. The program helps emerging teachers create dynamic lessons. The curriculum requires 33 credits, and students typically graduate in two years. Core courses include historical and philosophical foundations of music education, research in music education, and instructional design in music education.
Over 56% of UF students graduate with no student debt. UF accepts transfer credits on a case-by-case basis. UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of South Florida
|Tampa, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
Based in Tampa, USF offers a diverse college experience, serving over 50,000 students who hail from more than 140 countries. USF also serves working professionals through distance learning.
USF's online master's degree in music education provides ample flexibility through asynchronous coursework. The program's 30-credit curriculum includes coursework in approaches in music education, research design and methods in music education, data analysis and report writing in music education, and literature review in education. Participants also complete a one-week intensive on campus.
Admission requires two years of music teaching experience, recommendation letters, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, this program does not require GRE scores for admission. USF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Boston, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 88%||
BU serves about 35,000 students from over 130 countries. Learners gain access to over 300 programs and a vast alumni network. BU also boasts small class sizes, maintaining a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
BU's College of Fine Arts offers a master's in music education that requires 32 credits, including 12 music education credits, four music theory credits, and 16 elective credits. Students typically earn their degree in 18-24 months. Courses include psychology and sociology in music education, advocacy and policy in arts education, and analytical techniques. Each course lasts seven weeks, and students take one course at a time.
BU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
University of Georgia
|Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 86%||
Founded in 1785, UGA is the Peach State's flagship university. The school values student excellence, rigorous learning environments, and applied experiences. Graduate students can enroll in over 30 master's programs, and UGA also accommodates working professionals through distance learning.
UGA offers an online master's degree in music education that has no in-person requirements. Notable courses within the 33-credit curriculum include pedagogical efficacy, psychology of music, trends and issues in music education, and music theory. Each online course incorporates videos, text, and segmented lessons.
Admission requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and an unencumbered music education license. The program accepts up to six transfer credits from accredited institutions. UGA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
FIU serves nearly 54,000 students through approximately 265 programs, and its alumni network contains over 200,000 graduates.
The university offers several online programs that do not have any in-person requirements, including a master's in music education. This program's 30-credit curriculum includes courses such as electronic music lab, directed research, keyboard literature, and graduate music history review. All students must complete a thesis.
Admission requires a bachelor's in music from an accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Distance learners can access one-on-one support from a personal success coach. FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University at Buffalo
|Buffalo, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 76%||
UB is the largest school in the State University of New York system, offering over 420 programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The university also provides distance learning programs that primarily serve working professionals.
UB offers a 33-credit master's degree in music education that can be completed online. Participants must hold an unencumbered teaching license. Students typically complete the degree in four or five part-time semesters. Courses include musicianship and theory for early childhood, technology in music education, and Laban movement analysis. The curriculum also requires a culminating capstone course.
Admission requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. UB is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
|Minneapolis, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 80%||
UMN values diversity, inclusion, and civic engagement. To that end, the university's roughly 47,000 students represent over 130 nations. UMN also serves working professionals by offering several programs online.
The university's online master's degree in music education prepares graduates to create differentiated lessons to accommodate various learning needs. Small class sizes allow students in the program to develop meaningful relationships with their instructors. The curriculum includes a pedagogical track and a research track. Courses are delivered synchronously and cover topics like theory and analysis of popular music, topics in tonal analysis, topics in 20th-century analysis, and directed research. This program also requires a thesis.
Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. The program prefers applicants with music teaching experience in K-12 environments. UMN is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Texas Tech University
|Lubbock, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
Established in 1925 in Lubbock, TTU values diversity. To that end, Hispanic students represent more than a quarter of the student population, and enrollment by African-American learners has increased by almost a third in recent years. TTU also prioritizes accessibility by offering over 40 online graduate programs.
TTU's online master's in music education offers a 30-credit thesis track and a 36-credit non-thesis track. Courses include Kodály pedagogy, choral conducting methods, styles in wind literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, and music for students with exceptionalities. Students who choose the thesis track must give an oral defense of their thesis.
Admission requires a personal interview or audition, although the program does not require GRE scores. TTU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
San Jose State University
|San Jose, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
SJSU provides rigorous programs and student-centered learning. The university offers over 250 degrees to nearly 36,000 learners. SJSU's students also benefit from a vast alumni network that includes over 270,000 members.
SJSU's 30-credit master's in music education can be completed in three summer semesters. While students access most coursework online, they must also complete a two-week residency in person. Required courses include research in music education, instrumental conducting and rehearsal techniques, and string pedagogy.
Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree in music with a minimum 3.0 GPA and have some teaching experience. However, the program does not require GRE scores. Prospective students must also submit a portfolio, complete an interview, or prepare an audition. SJSU is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Georgia College and State University
|Milledgeville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
Georgia College is a public liberal arts university that values transformative leadership, engaged learning experiences, ethical principles, and inclusion. The school's small graduate class sizes allow students to build meaningful relationships with instructors.
Online learners at Georgia College can earn a master's in music education that does not include residency requirements. The 30-credit curriculum includes courses in American music and politics, curriculum development, community and philosophical music perspectives, and wind band literature. Students also take a capstone course and a comprehensive exam.
Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA to apply. Students must also submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and an applicant statement. Georgia College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What Else can I Expect from an Online Master's in Music Education Program?
An online master's in music education helps working educators improve their teaching skills and prepares students with a bachelor's in music to enter the teaching field. This rewarding career involves helping learners develop music skills and an appreciation for the arts.
This rewarding career involves helping learners develop music skills and an appreciation for the arts.
The curriculum for a master's in music education traditionally includes courses like music history, music education pedagogy, and research and teaching methods. Specialized coursework focuses on instrument-specific education and elementary music education. Concentration options include choral and vocal education, special education, and instrumental education.
Most master's in music education programs require 30-46 credits over approximately two years. Since many online programs focus on flexibility, working professionals often enroll as part-time students and need more time to complete their degree.
Most master's in education programs provide a pathway to state-specific teaching licensure as well as certifications from organizations like the Music Teachers National Association.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Music Education Programs
Whether applying for an MBA program or an online master's in music education, applicants must meet a few standard admission requirements. Prospective students must complete an application and provide official undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a resume outlining professional, academic, and volunteer activities.
Some schools require an audition, interviews, and examples of prior academic research. Some programs also require standardized test scores.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Music Education Program?
Through a mix of teaching pedagogy and music-centric coursework, master's in music education students learn how to educate future musicians. Music education curricula cover music theory, the social impact of music in communities, and music history. The following section highlights five common courses in these programs.
- Instructional Design in Music Education
This course investigates the teaching tools applicable to music lessons and builds future teachers' proficiency in designing, developing, and implementing musical instruction. Covered topics include lesson planning, learning theory, and pedagogical methods.
- Psychology of Music
This course focuses on the psychological theories that help make sense of how people interact with music. In addition to learning how performers, composers, and consumers interact with music, learners explore academic literature and psychological research methods.
- Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Music Education
This course delves into the historical and philosophical foundation of music education. Surveying music education from ancient Greece to the present, students explore the function and benefits of music education and how this informs instructional decisions.
- Music Technology Pedagogy
This course examines the uses of technology in music education. Learners explore theories of student interaction with technology, multimedia principles, and tech-based music curricula. This course also covers the skills needed for effective teaching in a technologically advanced educational environment.
- American Music
Surveying the roots of American music, this course examines the early musical influences in the United States. Learners study music from Africa and Europe that had an impact on American music, and the development of uniquely American musical forms like jazz, blues, and rock.
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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Music Education Degree?
An online master's in music education is a useful degree for students who want to teach. This degree prepares students for a variety of careers that focus on musical education.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that roles for band directors, primary teachers, and secondary teachers will grow over the next decade, creating a need for effective music teachers. Read on to learn more about common music education careers.
- Elementary School Music Teacher
These teaching professionals instruct young students, teach basic music skills, and prepare learners for middle school. Elementary music teachers create lesson plans, develop students' interpersonal skills, and communicate with parents and guardians regarding student progress. Teachers work with students individually and in larger groups while teaching introductory music concepts.
- High School Music Teacher
High school music teachers include choir, band, and symphony directors. These music teachers often specialize in either choral music or in leading an instrumental group. They sometimes also teach courses such as music theory and the history of American popular music. High school music teachers plan lessons, instruct students, grade assignments, and lead performances.
- Postsecondary Music Teacher
While teaching at a college or university traditionally requires a Ph.D., many graduates with a master's in music education work at community colleges. Community college music instructors direct student ensembles, provide music lessons, and teach a variety of music history and appreciation courses.
Many music educators are also musicians. A master's in music education can lead to opportunities to earn supplemental income in the form of music lessons and directing and performing in community ensembles.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Music Education Programs
- Is a master's in music education worth it?
It can be for many. If you are considering a career in music education, a master's in music education may make you more competitive for jobs and may increase your earning potential. A master's in music education also leads to a state teaching license.
- What can I do with a master's in music education?
Students earning a master's in music education are often proficient in at least one instrument, possess a deep love for music, and have a knack for teaching. In addition to traditional music education careers like high school band director, these professionals also work as private instructors and community college music educators.
- Is music education in demand?
The need for trained, licensed teachers remains steady. Over the next decade, the BLS projects 4% job growth for primary and secondary teachers, which is on par with projected job growth across other industries.
- How much money can I make with a master's in music education?
Both middle school and high school teachers earn, on average, about $60,000 annually. That said, teachers with a master's degree typically earn more than their colleagues with bachelor's degrees. A master's in music education is among the primary ways for music teachers to earn higher salaries.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in music education?
Location and experience play a significant role in determining salary. Teaching salaries remain relatively stable, but some school districts with deeper pockets pay more. Teacher unions and school districts determine teaching salaries. Seniority, professional training, and advanced degrees receive consideration when determining pay.