Music Education Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Music Education

Music Education is the field of study associated with the teaching of music to students in kindergarten through high school. If you are planning to teach K-12 music, you may teach general music courses; conduct band, orchestra, choir, and jazz band; or teach 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’s primary emphasis is on developing the skills, concepts, and sensitivity essential to become a teacher of music. When you graduate, you will have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate.

Career Opportunities in Music Education

The Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in Music Education prepares students to teach music to K-12 students.  Duties include:

  • Teaching general music,
  • Directing the marching band,
  • Conducting band, orchestra, choir, or jazz band,
  • Teaching music theory or music appreciation classes,
  • Directing a middle school or high school musical.


Salary Trends in Music Education

Upon completion of a degree in music education, students will be certified to teach instrumental or vocal music in grades K-12 in the State of Tennessee. The salary level depends on the level of education and the amount of teaching experience.  Starting salaries in music education in East Tennessee are $31-33,000 per year.

High School Preparation

To prepare for a degree in Music Education:

  • Perform as much as possible.
  • 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.
  • Practice!

How to Major in Music Education

All new students in music education (freshmen and transfer) must:

  • perform an audition on their major instrument,
  • interview with a member of the music education faculty,
  • and take a music theory examination.

The audition, interview, and theory exam can be completed on the day of your audition.  No student progresses to a major in music education until the audition, interview, and entrance examination have been successfully completed.

Wind, brass and percussion students must also audition for the band area. This audition is separate from the audition for admission to the School of Music.  Contact the band area to schedule this audition.

Information on the audition process can be found on the School of Music web site (  Applications are urged to register for an audition as early as possible.

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,
  • recital attendance,
  • ensembles.

Music Education courses, including:

  • conducting,
  • instrumental methods,
  • vocal pedagogy,
  • teaching music in elementary, middle and high school,
  • marching band techniques,
  • 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

Students in music education will choose to either student teach or intern in their last year.  Student teachers will spend one semester in a co-operative teaching situation in elementary, middle or high school.  Students who choose a year-long internship spend one and one half semesters in a co-operative teaching situation.  Interns will also take graduate level classes in music education research and clinical studies in music education, earning 24 hours of graduate credit in addition to the BM degree and teaching certificate.

Highlights of Music Education

Most music education students state that their student teaching or internship is the highlight of their educational experience. As student teachers or interns, students use all the information they have learned in their music classes and gain real-world experience in teaching.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

The Music Education faculty members encourage their majors to acquire a wide range of experiences.  If students can afford and have an interest in studying abroad, the faculty will work with them to make this opportunity as easy as possible.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office web site ( 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

Following this four-year plan will help you stay on track to graduate in four years.  Milestone courses have been identified as the minimum courses that must be completed.

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, 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
Milestone Courses: English 101, two courses in Music 200, Music Theory 110 and 130, Musicology 110, two music performance courses and two music ensemble courses
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Cultures and Civilizations 6
Child and Family Studies 210 3
Music Performance (200 level) 2,2
Music General 200 0, 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 or 211 1
Music Education 220 or 221 1
Milestone Courses: English 102, two courses in Music 200, two music performance courses, Music Theory 120 and 140, two music ensemble courses and one course from Musicology 210 or 220
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, 0
Music Ensemble 1
Music General 301 0
Music Education 350 1
Music Education 420 3
Music Education 430 3
Music Education 441 2
Theory and Practice in Teacher Education 486 3
Educational Psychology 401 3
Special Education 402 3
GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 122

For More Information

See the Music Education area web site:

Or contact the Music Education area:

Dr. David Royse, Coordinator
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.