Northwestern's undergraduate program offers distinct advantages. Not only does its high standards far exceed state and national requirements, but the quarter system allows for more courses and experiences in four years than are generally found in other programs. Students frequently elect to double major in music education and performance, and can complete the double major in four years. Collaborations with over 60 schools in the Chicago area provide many opportunities for practice teaching, Every methods-based course includes weekly experiences in area K-12 schools. Job placement each year is 100%.
Undergraduate music education majors are required to complete a music education interview and a performance audition.
Note: The Music Education Program is closely aligned with the School of Education and Social Policy teacher education unit. Students receive their K-12 certification from the SESP certification office. As part of that unit, the program has adopted the Conceptual Framework philosophy, created by the teacher education unit.
Graduate study in music education offers the flexibility to tailor your studies to your professional interests. After completing master’s study, many Northwestern graduates pursue advanced degrees or professional roles in research, conducting, pedagogy, or administration.
Master of Music: Music Education
The master’s degree program provides a strong foundation in philosophy, research, and curriculum design. In planning an appropriate course of study, students may draw upon the resources of the Bienen School of Music as well as the entire University to meet individual professional interests and needs. Competitive applicants will typically receive an offer of scholarship support and/or a graduate work stipend.
There are two options for individuals interested in the MM in Music Education:
A one-year program open to individuals who hold teaching certification in music. This program can be completed within an academic year of three quarters. A typical load is four graduate courses per quarter with required participation in ensembles.
A two-year program for individuals with a completed bachelor’s degree in music but who do not have teaching certification. Program requirements include the core graduate courses as well as methods classes, field experiences, and at least a quarter of full-time student teaching. (Northwestern does not offer a certification-only program.)
Master of Music: Music Education and Piano Pedagogy
The Bienen School offers a Master of Music Education and Piano Pedagogy. Applicants must fulfill all admission and audition requirements for both Music Education (1 year or 2 year with certificate) AND Piano Performance and Pedagogy.
Pursuing Multiple Master’s Degrees
Students in the Bienen School may complete two master’s degrees, such as Music Education and then also Conducting or Performance. Students must meet the requirements for admission of both programs. The two master’s degrees may then be pursued sequentially, but not concurrently. For more information, contact the Office of Music Admission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PhD program in music education is considered one of the finest anywhere. Graduates can be found in prestigious positions at colleges and universities both in the United States and abroad. Interdisciplinary in nature, the program combines coursework within the Bienen School of Music with programs located in many other parts of the University. All students accepted in the PhD program receive a fellowship that includes a full tuition waiver and stipend guaranteed for up to 5 years.