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The online master’s in music education program requires 33 credit hours of coursework to complete, providing a comprehensive overview of the latest teaching methods and theory in music education. Even if you’re working full time while pursuing the program, all of the requirements listed below can be completed in two years of dedicated study.

Capstone Project

A highlight of the program is the capstone project, which encapsulates students’ growth and development throughout the entire degree. The project enables students to comprehensively explore a topic of their choice while showcasing their proficiency in areas such as pedagogy, research methods, creativity, and understanding of world and vernacular musics.

With the help of a faculty advisor, students select the topic and the approach that best suits their professional objectives. For example, students can conduct a research study that they present in a paper, complete a curriculum project that reworks a unit plan, or create a digital portfolio that showcases their learning experiences.

Check out this article in conversation with a faculty advisor for more insights into the capstone project, how it fits into the online Master of Music in Music Education, and how it supports students’ career goals.

Music Education Foundation Courses (12 Credit Hours)

Music teacher with MMMED directing choir students

MUE6080: Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Music Education (3 Credit Hours)

This course examines the historical and philosophical foundations of contemporary music education, from ancient Greece to the present. The purpose, function, and reasoning for inclusion of music in general education will be studied.

MUE6785: Research in Music Education (3 Credit Hours)

The purpose of this course is to equip graduate music education students with the knowledge and skill to be able to locate, read, and understand the research literature in music education, applying it to their practice. In addition, students will learn to design research studies to systematically explore personal questions related to music teaching and learning.

MUE6931: Instructional Design in Music Education (3 Credit Hours)

This course builds understanding and skill in designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the processes of music learning and teaching. Topics will include conceptual frameworks, planning processes, learning theories, pedagogical approaches, teaching, and learning tools and assessment principles applicable to music lessons, units, and curricula.

MUS6685: Psychology of Music (3 Credit Hours)

In this course students examine psychological principles and theories that inform our understanding of how humans interact with music as performers, composers, listeners, and teachers. They locate, read, and discuss literature in the field, and learn about data collection tools and processes. During the class, students demonstrate their understanding of the psychology of music by applying what they’ve learned to their teaching practice.

The curriculum is actually the best part of this program. It was unbeatable. I can’t imagine having learned anything better than what I learned. I was immediately able to apply everything that I was learning because I was teaching at the same time that I was getting the degree.

– Melody Kneezel
Online Master of Music in Music Education Graduate

Music Core Courses (9 Credit Hours)

MUT6617: Approaches to Theoretical Analysis in Music Education (3 Credit Hours)

This course will develop and enhance skill in analyzing Western classical music, with an emphasis on application to the field of Music Education. Students will synthesize the essential concepts of music theory and analysis through examining selections from the repertoire to expand upon and refine analytical approaches learned in the undergraduate theory curriculum. Course activities will include analysis of music using visual and aural processes.

MUH6515: Musics of the World (3 Credit Hours)

This course provides students with knowledge and experiences to expand their understanding of musics from around the world, identify local examples of diverse musical traditions, explore the methods used in ethnomusicology, and develop approaches to world music pedagogy. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to accurately identify musical characteristics of a variety of musics, utilize ethnomusicological fieldwork methods to explore an unfamiliar musical culture, and implement a culturally informed approach to teaching world music.

MUH6526: American Vernacular Music (3 Credit Hours)

Vernacular music is the common musical language of a people. This course is an introduction to American vernacular music from the 1840s to the recent past, examining country, jazz, folk, rhythm & blues, rock & roll, rap, and Latin genres and styles. The cultural and social history, and an analytic study of musical style will be a focus. The processes used by vernacular musicians playing by ear, improvising, songwriting, small group collaboration, an emphasis on listening, and facility on more than one instrument will be explored. Curricular implications for K-12 music education settings will be considered.

Supplemental Courses (9 Credit Hours)

Young man listening to music on a tablet

MUE6696: Technology Assisted Music Learning (3 Credit Hours)

This class will explore the role of digital technologies in creating, performing, and responding to music, with applications to lifelong music learning and participation. A primary emphasis of the course will be the development of students’ Musical Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (M-TPACK). The technological focus of the class will include music notation software, MIDI, instructional computer programs, digital media, internet resources, and productivity tools.

MUE6747: Assessing Music Learning (3 Credit Hours)

This course provides a broad foundation in all aspects of assessment as it is applied in music teaching, from learning theory to practical application of assessment techniques, data management, critical thinking, progress reporting, and portfolio building. Assessment task design in the artistic response modes, item, and rubric development is covered. Students develop a series of assessments that can be implemented in their teaching situation.

MUE6399: Creative Thinking in Music (3 Credit Hours)

This course is an introduction to the study of musical creativity through an examination of the literature in and outside of music, with an emphasis on the process itself and its role in music teaching and learning. The class, situated within the disciplines of music education, music cognition, and cognitive science, will explore how the mind works with musical material to produce creative results. Students will be involved in many hands-on activities to explore the creative process and derive applications to K-12 music education.

Capstone Course (3 Credit Hours)

MUE6790: Capstone Project in Music Education (3 Credit Hours)

Students will develop an individualized final project or portfolio that is related to the content of the degree program and their professional interests. Working closely with a faculty advisor, students will demonstrate their capacity to independently synthesize, organize, and develop music education resources and materials to create an original form of scholarship. The music education faculty must approve a student’s Capstone Project or Capstone Portfolio before it is initiated.

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