Music Education

The bachelor of music in music education prepares students to be the music educators of today and tomorrow. Applying musical content and pedagogical practices that are innovative, contemporary, and relevant, music educators gain the music literary, pedagogical and technological skills that enable them to excel as educators and to help their students achieve their full musical potential. Students develop skills, concepts, and methodologies in music theory, composition, general musicianship, music history, arranging, orchestrating, improvising, conducting, and music performance. The latter includes a focus on solo performance techniques acquired through private instrumental or vocal study; vocal and instrumental techniques, pedagogy, and literature related to solo and ensemble performance; and the relationship of music to other disciplines of study.

Students also learn to teach. They learn to meet the needs of diverse learners and to incorporate technology into their pedagogical practice. Students come to understand the ways that history and culture shape and influence contemporary music as they apply historical and current pedagogical practices to foster teaching and learning. They also apply contemporary music performance practices, methodologies, modalities of instruction, and repertoire, as well as improve written, oral, and musical communication skills.

Students demonstrate these competencies through a field experience, a student teaching practicum for one semester in a public school environment. In this practicum, students work under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and a college faculty supervisor, and are evaluated against the standards for teaching licensing prescribed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Through study and interaction with faculty and supervisors, students develop an aesthetic vision of excellence in teaching; they come to analyze and think critically about teaching and learning, to foster the creative and analytical skills of their own students, to design various evaluative procedures, and use the results of these procedures to assess the effectiveness of their own instruction and of student learning.

The field of music education is a constantly developing one. Students gain knowledge and skills needed to adapt readily to changes in the field due to discoveries of ongoing research in learning as well as social, economic, and cultural changes. Through this program of study, students grow not only as music educators but also as leaders and as thinkers.

Entrance Requirements

1st semester of the general college CORE requirements.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a major in music education, students will:

  • Synthesize musical styles, both current and past

  • Synthesize and apply pedagogical techniques from a variety of established music education traditions (e.g. Kodaly method)

  • Communicate clearly, understandably, and appropriately with teachers, students, and parents

  • Design instruction which facilitates learning, consistent with the needs and interests of primary and secondary school learners

  • Design various evaluative procedures, and use the results of these procedures to assess the effectiveness of instruction and of student learning

  • Analyze and think critically about teaching and learning to foster students' creative and analytical thinking skills

  • Teach students in a way that is equitable, sensitive, and responsive to all learners

  • Synthesize the legal and moral responsibilities of the teaching profession

  • Serve as leaders and advocates for music education and the arts

Program Requirements: 
Read more about this program

50 credits for the major: ME-111 Introduction to Music Education ME-152 Computer Applications for Music Education ME-326 Multimedia for the Educator ENVC-361 Music Education Concert Choir ISKB-221 Keyboard Class for Music Education - Level 1 ISKB-222 Keyboard Class for Music Education - Level 2 ISKB-321 Keyboard Class for Music Education - Level 3 ISKB-322 Keyboard Class for Music Education - Level 4 ISWD-222 Clarinet Class ISBR-221 or ISBR-231 Trumpet Class or Trombone Class COND-221 Choral Conducting COND-321 Choral Rehearsal Techniques COND-222 Instrumental Conducting COND-322 Instrumental Rehearsal Techniques ME-211 Elementary Class Methods ME-311 Secondary Class Methods PIXX-311 Private Instruction Level 5 PIXX-312 Private Instruction Level 6 ME-212 Music Classroom Methods and Materials ME-341 Teaching With a Multicultural Perspective ME-321 Choral Methods & Materials ME-383 Survey of Choral Music Literature ME-381 Survey of Instrumental Literature ME-431 Instrumental Methods/Materials ME-475 Pre-Practicum Apprenticeship/Seminar PSME-311 Recital Class 6 credits Approved Specified Electives ME-495 Practice Teaching Seminar (6 credits post-coursework)

Assessment Evidence

1. Written exams.

2. Analytical and research papers.

3. Lesson plans and syllabi.

4. In-class performances.

5. Teaching demonstrations, both at Berklee and in a primary or secondary school environment.

6. Massachusetts state licensing exam. Additionally, all Music Education majors master the following Standards presented by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Education STANDARD I: Field of Knowledge:

1. Traditional Western music theory and harmony

2. Score reading and musical analysis

3. Music history and literature, including the following: a. Western (European) - early Gregorian chant to present b. American music - 1650 to present (including ethnic folk, jazz Broadway, and classic streams) c. Introductory knowledge of other musical traditions, including compositional and performance characteristics of two contrasting styles, genres, or cultures

4. Music criticism: analysis and critique of musical works and performance

5. Knowledge of at least one special approach to music education for students, such as Orff Schulwerk, Kodaly, Dalcroze, Suzuki, Gordon

6. Musical development in children and adolescents

7. Introductory knowledge of choral literature and conducting techniques

8. Introductory knowledge of instrumental literature and conducting techniques STANDARD II: Plans Curriculum and Instruction: The music education major (as student teacher/practicum and/or pre-practicum participant) will draw on content of the relevant curriculum frameworks to plan activities addressing standards that will advance students' level of content knowledge; plans sequential units of study that make learning cumulative and that are based on the learning standards in the frameworks; draws on results of formal and informal assessments as well as knowledge of human development to plan learning activities appropriate for the full range of students within a classroom; plans lessons with clear objectives and relevant measurable outcomes; plans the pedagogy appropriate to the specific discipline and to the age and cognitive level of students in the classroom; seeks resources from colleagues, families, and the community to enhance learning; incorporates appropriate technology and media in lesson planning; uses information and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to plan strategies for integrating students with special needs into general education classrooms. STANDARD III: Delivers Effective Instruction: The music education major will communicate high standards and expectations when beginning the lesson; communicate high standards and expectations when carrying out the lesson; communicate high standards and expectations when extending and completing the lesson; communicate high standards and expectations when evaluating student learning. STANDARD IV: Manages Classroom Climate and Operation: The music education major (as student teacher/practicum and/or pre-practicum participant) will create an environment that is conducive to learning; create a physical environment appropriate to a range of learning activities; maintain appropriate standards of behavior, mutual respect, and safety; manage classroom routines and procedures without loss of significant instructional time. STANDARD V: Promotes Equity: The music education major (as student teacher/practicum and/or pre-practicum participant) will encourage all students to believe that effort is a key to achievement; work to promote achievement by all students without exception; assess the significance of student differences in home experiences, background knowledge, learning skills, learning pace, and proficiency in the English language for learning the curriculum at hand and uses professional judgment to determine if instructional adjustments are necessary; help all students to understand American civic culture, its underlying ideals, founding political principles, and political institutions, and to see themselves as a member of a local, state, national, and international civic community. STANDARD VI: Meets Professional Responsibilities: The music education major (as student teacher/practicum and/or pre-practicum participant) understands his or her legal and moral responsibilities; conveys knowledge of and enthusiasm for K-12 music to students; maintains interest in current research or developments in K-12 music and exercises judgment in accepting findings as valid for application in classroom practice; participates in building a professional community by collaborating with colleagues to continuously improve instruction, assessment, and student achievement; works actively to involve parents in their child's academic activities and performance, and communicates clearly with them; reflects critically upon his or her teaching experience, identifies areas for further professional development as part of a professional development plan that is linked to grade level, school, and district goals, and is receptive to suggestions for growth; understands legal and ethical issues as they apply to responsible and acceptable use of the Internet and other resources.