How Can You Specialize a Master’s in Music Education?

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Updated August 4, 2020

The different possibilities for ways to specialize a Master's in Music Education degree can help an education professional to gain the advanced skills and knowledge needed to help students of all ages in support of not only musical learning, but also the use of music to assist and support other areas of academics, physical and mental well-being, and social development. The incorporation of music into many different areas is beneficial in many ways, and music educators have unique opportunities to become an integral part in the success of others.

Master's in Music Education Core Curriculum

A graduate degree in music education is often pursued by current and future education professionals who are interested in the ways in which music can help enhance a student's overall academic experience and for being a part of passing on knowledge and skill in the art of performing, composing, singing, and playing a variety of instruments.

There are a number of core classes a graduate student will complete in order to fulfill the requirements to earn a degree in addition to specialized course work in concentrations of particular areas of music education. The core course work often includes pedagogical theory in musical education, assessment methods in musical arts, human learning and music, and teaching perspectives in music education. In addition, the majority of programs also require field work, classroom observation, and student teaching in order to meet degree requirements.

Specializations in Classroom Teaching

Teaching artistry is one of the options for specializing in an area of music education that will prepare future professionals for working directly with students in a classroom. In addition to the core curriculum, music education graduate students focusing a degree concentration in teaching artistry are also often likely to complete courses such as lesson planning for music education, choral practices in elementary classrooms, advanced techniques in teaching the reading of music, and history of music education.

Other Specializations

A specialization in conducting is also a popular option for concentrating on a specific area of music education. Some common coursework in this specialization includes music education foundations, eras and music, music research methods, conducting seminars, and recitals.

Research and administration-focused specializations might also include courses such as budgeting for special programs in music, assessment data to improve practice, and curriculum development for music education programs.

Careers with a Master's in Music Education

For many future educators pursuing a master's degree in music education, teaching in K-12 classrooms will be the career path of choice. Other classroom teaching options include positions in community colleges or universities. There are many other options to consider as well. Music education professionals with a specialization in a specific area might also choose roles in the administration. Additionally, music educators can find positions with non-profit and community organizations, government agencies, and research-based institutions.

More information on the importance of music education and careers to pursue after completion of a graduate degree can be found at the National Association for Music Education website.

Related Resource: Specialize a Master's in Philosophy

There are concentrations to support the development of skill in order to best support students of all ages directly in a classroom or by driving legislation or funding. The first step is to find the best way to specialize a Master's in Music Education degree.

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