East Carolina University confers a cheap music education master's that is perfect for music educators and instructors interested in an advanced degree. This program offers seven emphasis areas, including Music Therapy, Pedagogical Studies, and Music Theory and Composition. It is possible to earn advanced teaching licensure with this degree; however, this option is only open to North Carolina residents who already have a Class A teaching license that is in good standing. This is a 100 percent online program that is taught asynchronously and on the traditional academic term schedule. Students can expect to complete 48 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or a final project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include History and Philosophy of Music Education, Research for Practitioners in Music Education, and Foundations, Leadership, and Communication in Music Education.
10 Most Affordable Master’s in Music Education Online 2021
An online Master’s in Music Education is an exceptional degree for music teachers and educators who are interested in advancing in their careers. With a graduate degree, these professionals will be in a better position to help their students and clients grow in their music abilities. From learning about music theory and history to building on the instructor skills, this is a fantastic opportunity for educators to improve their own understanding of music education.
But going back to school may not be feasible for all music education professionals. They may work full-time or have other obligations that keep them from being able to attend a traditional program. Online programs are a great alternative; flexible and affordable, these programs provide an excellent education in a format that makes it easy for every professional to consider.
Accredited Online College Programs
Most Affordable Master’s in Music Education Online 2021
Our Methodology, ExplainedGrad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30% Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10% Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30% Program Offerings Number of program options 20% Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are My Career Options for an Online Master’s in Music Education Degree?
An online Master’s in Music Education is generally thought of as the logical next step for a music teacher who would like to advance their career. This could be as a professor at a community college or university or even moving to a conservatory or academy to teach talented young musicians.
But it is not the only career option. There are several other pathways that professionals may be interested in learning more about. Here is a short list to help begin the research process in what careers might be right for music educators:
- Worship Pastor
- Choral Director
- Band Director
- Non-Profit Music Program Director
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Music Director
- Director of Teaching and Learning
- Music Therapist
- Instructional Designer
Several of these career paths will take additional education, most often in the form of postgraduate certificates that can be earned online from a university. Some may also require credentials; students should research the career path to ensure they understand what will be required for finding employment.
How Much Can You Earn in This Field?
The average salary range for this field is $34,000 to $110,000. This includes the various career opportunities available in music education, from music director to creative director of a record label. It also is the median salary range, meaning that students should expect their starting salaries to be a bit lower unless they have substantial work experience.
Professionals should note that the higher a salary for a position, the more work experience is required. In some cases, advanced licensure or credentials will need to be in good standing in order for applicants to be considered for a position. Many positions also want to see personal creative projects from applicants, meaning that professionals should consider continuing their own musical creative projects.
What are the Various Disciplines of Music Education?
Music education is a discipline made up of music and education. While this may seem straightforward enough, there are a variety of other disciplines that inform the field. It’s important to keep these in mind as in-service professionals understand the impact of the following disciplines:
- Curriculum and Instruction
These may seem like disparate disciplines to pre-service professionals. The reality, however, is that all of these disciplines play a major role in the field of music education. Music is a creative art, working with history, sound, and instruments to create a specific voice to a certain point in time or for a culture. It is also a science, one that has increasingly used technology as a way to advance the craft. And music education is just as influenced by economics and administration as it is by science and math.
Is Specialized Accreditation Necessary for This Degree?
Specialized accreditation for music education programs are necessary for professionals who wish to be certified or licensed as an instructor or teacher in the field. While it is possible to find work as a private tutor without specialized accreditation, it is not possible to find work at a conservatory, academy, or school.
The National Association for Schools of Music is the country’s largest and only accrediting body for music education. It was established in 1924 to help schools build standards for music educators and currently represents 651 accredited institution members, including conservatories and universities.
It is also the most prestigious accreditation that a university or college can receive. This bodes well for students who are interested in earning credentials as a music educator, as the NASM is the only body in America that provides credentials for this profession.
Students will do well to find a school with this accreditation. Most of the online programs on this ranking are accredited by the NASM, so it’s a great place to start. For students who are interested in learning more about credentials, including learning what the requirements are, please visit the NASM website.
What are Some of the Requirements for Applying to an Online Master’s in Music Education?
Music education is an incredibly specialized field; for that reason, the following requirements are standard practice for all graduate programs in this area. While some programs may make exceptions for applicants, the vast majority require them in order to keep their academic standards high. Students are advised to still check the requirements for the program they are interested in before moving on to applying for placement.
The first major requirement is a bachelor’s degree in music, specifically music education, from an accredited university. As this is an advanced degree, programs assume that many professionals will have already earned this degree. It is still stated in requirements for admission to deter students who may not have a degree in music education or music specifically.
Students with a degree in music but who did not specialize in music education may be given special consideration. This is only possible if they have received a specialized credential in music education. Because states vary the requirements for these types of credentials, it is up to the student to research the certifications and licensures in their state.
The second major requirement is that of work experience. Most programs require two years of work experience as a music instructor; the most popular is that of a music teacher. This is because the program is most often designed for in-service teachers, making it possible for these professionals to complete the degree without having to do a field placement.
The third and final requirement is that of a personal essay. While personal essays are normal for every university application, it differs for music education programs in that it requires a student to demonstrate advanced knowledge of music. This includes composition, music theory, music history, and more.
There are some rare schools that will accept a student who does not meet these requirements; however, it is important to note that those programs are not accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and do not lead to advanced teaching licensures in any state. These programs are generally reserved for musicians who are interested in moving into an instructor role at a music academy or for private tutoring.
Music education is a passion; it is a field that focuses a professional on not just their love of music, but also their enthusiasm for passing their musical knowledge to their pupils. Now music educators don’t have to take time off to earn a graduate degree in their field. They only need to choose one of the top ten online Master’s in Music Education programs above in order to make their career goals a reality.
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This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Music Education Online.
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