Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Music Education

The Master of Music degree in Music Education is designed to meet the needs of practicing music educators. A personalized course of study based on academic background and professional interests is selected in consultation with the student’s advisor. Music Education master's courses.

The faculty of the School of Music believes that strong teachers are first of all strong performers or strong composers. We view music educators as those who must be competent subject matter specialists and competent specialists in educational practice. This philosophy was superbly articulated.

“To be the best teachers possible, we need to be the best musicians we can be, not teachers who happen to be teaching music, but musicians who specialize in the art of teaching.”
- Leonard Bernstein

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

Academic Overview

The degree requirements for the Master of Music in Music Education consist of five Music Education core courses, as well as additional music courses and electives that are selected by the graduate student 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 such areas 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, the grade of at least a “B” must be earned each semester in the student’s major area. Graduate students may be dropped from the program if they fail to maintain the professional standards of the school or fail to 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.

Effective in Fall 2012, 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 extension of the time to degree limit.

All the skills needed to present classical and/or contemporary music to the public are absolutely essential for tomorrow’s musician. 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. Each student makes all the arrangements necessary to present his/her program out in the community, with an emphasis on interacting with audience, 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 Booklet.  
Carnegie Mellon courses are measured in units rather than credits or credit hours, with three units equaling a standard credit. More information here