Online Master of Music in Music Education

Note: We are not currently accepting new applications to the online master’s degree in music education. For information on the in-person program, view our music department’s master of music in music education.


The MM in Music Education is designed to address the needs of music teachers who already hold teaching certification and who are currently teaching in K-12 school settings. MM students are challenged to develop a greater understanding and mastery of music teaching-learning processes, to improve personal musicianship, to become committed leaders within the profession, and to deepen their understanding of critical issues in the field of music education.

Advance Your Education. Advance Your Career.

Expand your music program and teaching skills through an in-depth understanding of how students learn music. This advanced degree is designed to help K-12 music teachers expand their career opportunities in music education, while also improving their professional and personal musicianship skills. The 100% online format provides flexibility to working professionals to complete courses and coursework according to their schedules.

Career Opportunities

For many educators, a Master’s degree is associated with an increase in salary. This degree will also position you to attain better career opportunities in schools and other music education settings, or set you on a path to continue your studies at the doctoral level.

Program Requirements

Through the 30-credit online Master of Music in Music Education degree program, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of how students learn music through a variety of academic perspectives, including history, philosophy, and psychology. You’ll improve your musicianship and professional capabilities through the study of musical literature used in K-12 as well as music theory and will learn to integrate technology into the music curriculum. At the end of the program, you’ll be required to complete a capstone project that applies the concepts you’ve learned to a real-life scenario. Our well-rounded curriculum consists of 18 credits of study in music education and 12 credits in music history, music theory, and ethnomusicology. 


08:702:531 Wind Band Literature for Graduate Music Educators Online

The task of choosing appropriate quality literature for bands is challenging for both young and experienced directors. The challenge is magnified by the many varied demands and responsibilities that fill a limited time schedule, and by the enormous amount of superficial publications that are released each year. This course will briefly explore research that outlines the criteria of artistic merit that helps identify and define the great standard wind band works. We will then examine a number of works for elementary, middle, and high school band (grades I-V) that are regarded as works of artistic merit and are considered standard repertoire. Repertoire sources, curricular and programming ideas, and a historical review are also included.

3 credits

08:702:532 Theory I: Model Composition & Tonal Analysis for Graduate Music Educators Online

This course, which is designed for Music Education majors, explores important topics in music theory from the Medieval period through the 18th century. Beginning with the development of notation, we will follow the progression of Western music from chant through the beginning of the Common Practice period. While this is not a class on the history of theory, we will be reading and discussing the major theorists of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. There will be an emphasis on the practical application of the concepts studied in class, as students will learn the fundamentals 16th and 17th century counterpoint, realize figured bass in four part voice-leading, and complete formal analysis of music from the Baroque and early Classical periods.

3 credits

08:702:536 Cognitive Approaches to Music Learning Online

Cognitive psychology is a broad sub-discipline within the larger field of psychology that concentrates on the study of mental processes. The range of subjects covered will include attention, memory, problem solving, imagery, optimal experience, knowledge representation, language, and comprehension. This course will provide an overview of the field especially as it applies to music and music education. To provide greater depth, the second half of the course will focus on study of one sub-discipline: varying theories about individual differences.

3 credits

08:702:537 Behavioral Approaches to Music Learning Online

This course offers an intensive study of behavioral teaching techniques in music education. A central consideration is the development and cultivation of effective behavior management practices in the music classroom and rehearsal settings.

Students will show evidence of critical thinking concerning the teaching of music by demonstrating the ability to logically analyze, criticize, and/or choose informed alternatives as applied to student behavior.

By completing various learning activities and projects, students will develop specific techniques related to communication of musical and non-musical ideas and the organization of time and materials for the purpose of better facilitating musical learning experiences.

Students will cultivate an understanding of human musical behaviors through assigned readings, analysis and review of relevant research, and group discussion.

3 credits

08:702:570 Introduction to Graduate Studies Online

A course designed to stimulate an interest in systematic inquiry in music education, students will be challenged to critically think about how they approach the ideas of teaching and learning as they become familiar with each of the major peer-reviewed journals in the field of music education. Through research and class discussion, students will learn to locate and analyze research articles related to particular topics of interest within music education and reflect their findings following APA writing style guidelines. Lastly, a major focus of the course is on the transfer of knowledge from one concept to another including areas such as curriculum development, assessment, sequencing instruction, and feedback.

3 credits

08:702:572 Seminar in Choral Literature Online

Seminar in Choral Literature is a concentrated study of choral literature for school choirs. The main emphasis for the course is selection and assessment of choral music suitable for school ensembles, grades 1-12. Theories of choral music selection and evaluation will also be discussed.

3 credits

08:702:573 Studies in Form and Analysis for Graduate Music Educators Online

The goal of the course is to explore the relationship between form (phrases, motives) and structure (harmony, key areas, modulations) as they relate to the standard forms of the common practice period, and to learn to make accurate formal analyses and present them in clear and effective essays.  Students will analyze compositions and demonstrate key concepts through formal diagrams, short essays, and analytical papers. Readings are intended not only to supply information relevant to the unit in which they occur, but also to serve as models for the student essays and papers.

The course is divided into two components.  The lectures provide general information about the form and structure of compositions in the genres covered by each unit.  Short examples are given, and links to longer examples are provided for student reference.  The Analytical Essays are longer units, each of which explores a specific concept in depth.  These essays are not meant to be comprehensive, but instead to focus on one or two critical elements of explored in the course.  For example, our analysis of Chopin’s Prelude in A Minor will focus on harmonic ambiguity and the breakdown of the tonic-dominant model, while our analysis of Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata explores the expansion of sonata form in the late classical period.

3 credits

08:702:575: Integrating Technology into the Music Curriculum Online

This course provides experience with the three major types of uses of technology by music teachers and students: Preparing Teaching Materials, Leading Class Activities, and Student Uses of Technology. The course is based on the belief that technology can:

  • Provide tools and resources for helping students become active agents in the growth of their music knowledge, attitudes, and skills
  • Make a contribution to helping students make progress toward achieving the National Standards in Music: singing, playing, improvising, composing, reading and notating, listening, evaluating, understanding relationships with the arts and other disciplines, and understanding history and culture. Help current and prospective music teachers to prepare more effective music learning materials
  • Contribute to the development of new models of music learning

3 credits

08:702:576 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Music Education Online

This course offers an overview of significant historical and contemporary philosophical positions that have influenced music education, especially as they relate to the purpose and value of formalized music education over the past two centuries. In an effort to consider the best possible directions for music education moving forward, students will become familiar with the writings of key music education philosophers such as Bennett Reimer, David Elliott and Estelle Jorgensen. Furthermore, students will utilize major philosophical writings to help construct justifications of music education based on potential musical, aesthetic and/or utilitarian benefits to students and, also, to society as a whole. At the end of the course, students will be able to discuss the major figures and events, both musical and nonmusical, that shaped music education as we know it today.

3 credits

08:702:577 History of the Western Canon for Graduate Music Education Online

This course is a chronological music history survey encompassing all eras of western music history, from c. 1000- 1950. We will study the social, cultural, and historical contexts in which music was composed and performed, focusing primarily on art music in Europe and the United States. We will examine the stylistic features, forms, and performance practices typical of each era, and how these relate to the wider context of the time. We will discuss how these features evolved over time, and how this evolution was conditioned by the changing context and expressive goals of composers and performers. Finally, we will place the music in the context of other contemporaneous artistic movements.

This course has been designed to meet two goals:

  1. To allow students to study and discuss major works in the Western art music canon
  2. To allow students to study and discuss works of an appropriate level for the students they teach.

Accordingly, each unit has two components: study and discussion of the works listed on this syllabus, followed by study and discussion of works chosen and presented by the students in the class.

Students will engage with the material in the following ways:

  1. Through required reading and listening assignments
  2. By listening to and/or watching mini-lectures intended to provide background to the material under discussion that week
  3. By participating in a class blog both as a primary author and as a respondent
  4. Through regular and active participation in threaded discussion forums intended as an informal site of conversation between the students and instructor
  5. Through the creation of content modules (including, e.g., mini-lectures, podcasts, or narrated PowerPoint presentations), in which students will apply the knowledge gained from the reading, listening, and lectures to their own teaching curricula

3 Credits

08:702:579 Musical Practices of the World for Graduate Music Education Online

The scope of this course was created to introduce you to the discipline of ethnomusicology as a means through which to learn about musical practices from different regions of the world, as well as music related to your own background and experience.

This course will provide you with a working knowledge of the discipline of ethnomusicology including its intellectual history, major theoretical premises, analytical techniques, and research methodologies. We will explore a diverse set of case studies examining music as social life from different societies throughout the world, and use these as a means to expand upon the broader topics introduced. During this course you will apply the knowledge you gain, in order to conduct your own ethnographic fieldwork and research, as well as consider the various intersections of ethnomusicology and music education. This course emphasizes reading, writing, original research, and online discussion forums.

The course is divided into four main sections:

  1. Foundations of Ethnomusicology
  2. Ethnomusicological Case Studies – Part 1
  3. Ethnomusicology: Practical Applications and Music Education
  4. Ethnomusicological Case Studies – Part 2

3 credits

08:702:580 Applied Research in Music Education Online

This course focuses on design, analysis, and evaluation of research and scholarly inquiry in music education. Students will consult recent research, demonstrating an ability to evaluate it and utilize its information. Students will also design research, conduct research projects of varying methodologies, write a full research report, and be able to verbally present findings to classmates in an online forum.

3 credits

Admissions Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in music or music education (with or without a teacher certification) from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Official transcripts
  • At least one year of teaching experience
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (1-2 pages) with career objectives
  • Video of teaching (5-10 minutes) or letters of reference which address the applicant’s teaching experience
  • 5-10 page academic paper on a subject in music history, music theory or music education