Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Music Education

The Master of Music degree in Music Education is a personalized course of study based on academic background, musicianship, and visionary research interests. 

In the Master of Music degree in Music Education we prioritize scholarship and research that will contribute to the field of music education in inclusive and transformative praxis.  Music educator scholars must be competent subject matter specialists and competent specialists in education for the purpose of transformation in divergent music education contexts.

“Transforming music educators are passionate about what they do because for them, passing on the living traditions of the past as they also reshape them in the present is the vital work of directly engaging the hearts and minds of their students, of bringing living knowledge and living beings together in the celebration of music making and taking”.
-Transforming Music Education, Estelle Jorgensen

We currently offer three pathways in the fulfillment of a graduate degree in Music Education. See below for the three curriculum options.

Pathway 1 — 4 semester full-time program for graduates with undergraduate music degrees who are interested in pursuing research development in music education.

Pathway 23 semester full-time program ideal for graduates with a bachelor of music education who are interested in the advanced development of pedagogical skill-set and research development in music education.

Pathway 32+ semester concentrated program* customized for the experienced K to 12 Certified Music Teacher who is interested in expanding their skill-set and research development in music education.
*Based on an individual assessment of transcript and contribution in the field

The degree requirements for the Master of Music in Music Education consists of five Music Education core courses, as well as additional music courses and electives that are selected by the graduate students and their advisors.

Incoming graduate students are first given competency tests to determine if remedial work is needed. All competency examinations must be completed before the end of the second semester.

A wide range of electives are available to meet the diverse career needs of the graduate student. Some students elect courses outside the school. Others prefer to do the majority of their elective work in the School of Music and explore in greater depth areas such as music history, theory, pedagogy, chamber music, computer music, recording technology and accompanying.

Students who are accepted to begin work in the master’s program are not automatically candidates for the degree. They must complete 36 units of graduate courses with an average of “B” or better before they can be considered as candidates for the degree.

Furthermore, a grade of at least a “B” must be earned each semester in the student’s major area. Graduate students may be released from the program if they do not maintain the professional standards of the school or make sufficient progress during any semester.

All candidates for the Master of Music degree must also pass a comprehensive review in their major area. Successful completion of this review is a requirement for graduation. The comprehensive review for Music Education consists of both a written examination and an oral examination covering all Music Education coursework.

All candidates for the Master of Music in the School of Music must complete the Master of Music program within a period of seven years from original matriculation as a master’s student. Once this time-to-degree limit has lapsed, the person may resume work towards a master’s degree only if newly admitted to a currently offered master’s degree program under criteria determined by that program. Under extenuating circumstances, students may appeal for an extension of the time-to-degree limit.

The skills needed to present classical and/or contemporary music to the public are essential for the 21st century music educator. While the core of each student’s educational program is performance, composition, conducting, or music education, every Carnegie Mellon student is expected to develop the communication skills necessary to engage tomorrow’s audiences in their artistic work.

Therefore, all master’s degree students are required to present at least one outreach activity during their two years of study in the graduate program. This activity can be any musical presentation with an emphasis on education. Students make all the arrangements necessary to present their program in the community, with an emphasis on audience interaction, helping them to understand and appreciate the music being shared.

For further information regarding the Master of Music in Music Education, please refer to the Music Education Master's Program Curriculum

Carnegie Mellon courses are measured in units rather than credits or credit hours, with three units equaling a standard credit. There is no charge for extra units taken at Carnegie Mellon.