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The Importance of a Music Education Degree

March 31, 2021

Masters in Music Education degree student studying at deskSome of our most vivid memories come from the music classroom. Remember the first time you picked up an instrument and got it to make a sound? It might not have been the right sound, but there’s nothing quite like that moment of realization: You have the ability to create — to play.

As music teachers, we get to see these moments of realization in our own students and transform their initial curiosity into lifelong passion. However, the skills required to keep that momentum going and elevate students’ technical mastery of music are challenging to build and incredibly varied.

We must be experts at inspiring others to guide students toward those moments of self-discovery, while also being adept at classroom management and motivation. Engaging students when they feel good about learning is one thing but getting them to practice even when they’re struggling is an equally important skill that can help them elevate their mastery.

Learn more about UF’s Online Master of Music Education Program

The Importance of a Music Education Degree

Like effective K-12 music teachers, the faculty in top music education master’s degree programs encourage graduate students to expand their personal creativity while simultaneously challenging them to grow in their theoretical and applied understanding of music pedagogy. Graduate music education offers a way to develop key skills that are essential for teaching lessons and engaging students from different backgrounds, students who may be at different skill levels and in different stages of their lives.

At the same time, these programs help music teachers develop their expertise in music education research, instructional design, and music learning assessment. These skills can help music educators elevate their teaching by empowering them with a greater understanding of topics ranging from the psychology of music to how to best leverage music education technology and tools.

Take former online master’s in music education student Katherine Powell, for example. Powell received the Champion of the Arts award from her school district, which provided grant money for her classroom to purchase iPads and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) adapters.

“This nomination was a direct result of the changes I made to my curriculum and also my advocacy, both of which arose from what I learned from the music education graduate program [at the University of Florida],” said Powell.

Music Education Degree Salary Potential

Graduate music education students have opportunities to learn strategies for infusing practical and theoretical perspectives into their teaching, making their lessons more dynamic and enhancing their classrooms with technology.

In addition to broadening their skills, however, teachers who pursue a master’s in music education may benefit from an increase in salary. PayScale data show that music teachers with a master’s degree make an average of $8,000 more per year than their peers with a bachelor’s degree.

It’s important to note that the salary potential for music educators in classroom settings varies widely based on a myriad of other factors. The years of experience someone has, for example, is one of the biggest earning potential factors in this field — music teachers who have at least 10 years of experience earn approximately 17 percent more, on average, than music teachers overall. The type of institution where these professionals work also affects both the types of opportunities and salaries for this role.

The music education degree salary listed above discusses average earnings, but salary potential can also fluctuate based on the specific application of the degree. For example, while many music education master’s graduates continue their career with a focus on teaching, others enter leadership positions as program directors and administrators.

Related Content: Salary Outlook for Master’s in Music Education Graduates

About the University of Florida’s Online Master of Music in Music Education

The University of Florida’s Online Master of Music in Music Education program is designed with the evolution of music education in mind. In addition to covering a broad array of music genres, the program’s curriculum explores advanced concepts in music education psychology, instructional design, and technology in the music classroom. The faculty include instructors from a diverse range of professional backgrounds— from professional musicians to internationally recognized music education researchers and authors.

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