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Music Education Major Guide for 2008-2009

What is Music Education

Music Education is the teaching of music to students in kindergarten through high school. If you are teaching K-12 music, you may be teaching general music courses; conducting band, orchestra, choir, and jazz band; or teaching music theory or music history courses. You should consider pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education degree if you love teaching and music, and want to convey your love of music to others.
The Bachelor of Music degree is the undergraduate professional degree in music. Its primary emphasis is on developing the skills, concepts, and sensitivity essential to a teacher of music. When you graduate, you will have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate.

Career Opportunities in Music Education

This degree provides both the musical and educational background needed to teach music. The many tracks available provide specialized knowledge for teaching vocal or instrumental music in grades K-12.

Salary Trends in Music Education

Upon completion of a degree in music education, you will be certified to teach instrumental or vocal music in grades K-12 in the State of Tennessee. You will most likely get a job teaching in a public or private school at the elementary, middle or high school levels. Your salary depends on your level of education and the amount of teaching experience you have. Starting salaries in music education are about $33,000.

High School Preparation

To prepare for a degree in music, perform as much as possible. In high school you should participate in the chorus, the band, and the orchestra. Take private music lessons to help prepare for your audition. Take any music theory, ear training, music history, or appreciation courses offered by your school. Listen to as much music and as many varied types of music as you can. Attend con­certs. Take piano lessons. And above all, practice!

How to Major in Music Education

All new music students in music education (freshmen and transfer) must perform an audition on their major instrument, have an interview with a member of the music education faculty, and take a music theory examination.

The results of the theory exam will determine your placement in theory. The audition, interview, and theory exam should be completed on the day of your audition.
Applicants are strongly urged to register for an audition through the School of Music website as early as possible. No student progresses to a major in music education until the audition, interview, and entrance examination have been successfully completed.

Requirements for Music Education

You should begin your courses in music as soon as you become a music major. As a music major, you will take courses in the music core curriculum, including: music theory and ear training, form and analysis, instrumentation, music history and world music, piano, applied music, and solo class.

You are also required to be in an ensemble each semester. As a music education major, you will also take courses in conducting, instrumental methods, vocal methods, and teaching music in schools. You will also take professional studies courses in education. In addition, you are required to present a 30 minute recital in your third or fourth year.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

You can participate in many different ensembles including symphony orchestra, concert choir, chamber choir, men’s and women’s chorales, opera theater, wind ensemble, symphonic and concert band, and the Pride of the Southland marching band. The School of Music presents more than 160 concerts each year.

Highlights of Music Education

Most music education students find both their ensemble participation and their teaching internship to be highlights of their educational experience.
Students can choose to either  intern as a student teacher for one semester or intern for a full year in the schools while taking several master’s courses in music education.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

"Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education website ( or the Ready for the World website ( for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities. 
Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office website ( for information on study abroad opportunities.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Sample Curriculum Bachelor of Music Degree, concentration in Music Education: String Emphasis
Freshman Year Credit Hours
English 101, 102 3,3
Music Performance (100 level) 2,2
Music General 200 0
Music Ensemble 370 1,1
Music Theory 110, 120 3,3
Music Theory 130, 140 1,1
Musicology 110 3
Music Education 240, 241 1,1
Music Keyboard 110, 120 1,1
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Cultures and Civilizations 6
Child and Family Studies 210 3
Music Performance (200 level) 2,2
Music General 200 0
Music Ensemble 370 1,1
Music Theory 210, 220 3,3
Music Theory 230, 240 1,1
Musicology 210, 220 3,3
Music Education 210 1
Music Education 220 1
Junior Year Credit Hours
Communicating Orally 3
Mathematics 115 3
Natural Sciences 4
Music Performance (200 or 300 level) 2,2
Music General 200 0,0
Music Ensemble 370 1
Music Theory 320 2
Music Ensemble 1
Music Ensemble 315 1,1
Musicology 380* 3
Music Education 230 1
Music Education 350 1
Music Education 310, 320 3,2
Music Education 200 1
Music Education 340 3
Senior Year Credit Hours
Social Sciences 3
Natural Sciences 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Music Performance (300 or 400 level) 2
Music General 200 0
Music Ensemble  1
Music General 301 0
Music Education 350 1
Music Education 420 3
Music Education 430 3
Music Education 441 2
Instructional Technology 486 3
Educational Psychology 401 3
Special Education 402 3
GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 120

For More Information

Assoc. Director for Undergraduate Studies
School of Music
1741 Volunteer Blvd.
211 Music Bldg
(865) 974-3241



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.