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"Don't just teach. Inspire."

Master of Arts in Music Education

Master of Arts in Music Education

In our hands-on program you will learn from a world-renowned faculty of practitioners and researchers in lively courses filled with a variety of pedagogical approaches. You will collaborate with music teachers from around the world to promote artistic, intelligent, reflective and inspired music teaching at all levels of music.

Our program is designed for teachers by teachers to serve professional music educators who wish to strengthen their classroom teaching. We value classroom practice, theory and research equally in our quest to improve the quality of music education. St. Thomas offers a range of courses for the practicing teacher to incorporate into elementary and secondary curricula.

Music teacher conducting a class of students singing

Life as a Student

Our programs are designed for working music teachers who wish to pursue graduate study without interrupting their professional lives. All courses required for the degree are available during the summer term in an interlocking arrangement of day and evening courses.

Graduate students practicing together with various instruments

01 A broad range of courses

Curriculum Overview

The Master of Arts in Music Education curriculum requires 33 credit hours and consists of three elements:

  • Core courses
  • A concentration to develop specific skills
  • A final project to conduct applied research in music education

Core Courses

Core courses provide opportunities for all master’s students to place their specific skills within a broader musical and educational context.

Required areas of study include (14 credits)
• GMUS 600 Introduction to Scholarship and Research Methods in Music Education, 3 cr.
• GMUS 601 Teaching and Learning, 3 cr.
• GMUS 608 Foundations of Music Education, 3 cr.
• GMUS 611 Perspectives in Music Theory, 3 cr.
• GMUS 612 Topics in Music History, Literature and Theory, 3 cr.
• GMUS 750 Musicianship, 1 cr.
• GMUS 890 Master of Arts Final Project, 1 cr.

Master of Arts in Music Education Concentrations

  • Choral  Concentration
  • Instrumental Concentration
  • Kodály Concentration
  • Orff Schulwerk Concentration
  • Piano Pedagogy  Concentration
  • Choral  Concentration

    This degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements specific to the choral experience. Unique to the Master of Arts in Music Education program is its emphasis on practical application in graduate study as well as cooperation among classroom, vocal, and instrumental music educators to produce superior music education in our schools and other musical settings.

    The choral concentration explores effective ways to enrich the choral experience for singers in our classrooms focusing on conducting, pedagogy, repertoire and vocal development.

    Required choral concentration courses (15 credits)
    GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Repertoire, 2 cr.
    GMUS 673 Choral Score Study and Literature I, 2 cr.
    GMUS 674 Choral Score Study and Literature II, 2 cr.
    GMUS 676 Voice Fundamentals, 2 cr.
    GMUS 726 Intermediate Choral Conducting, 2 cr.
    GMUS 727 Advanced Choral Conducting, 2 cr.
    GMUS 728 Advanced Choral Conducting Lab, 1 cr.

    Plus one of the following:
    GMUS 541 Global Traditions for Choirs, 2 cr.
    GMUS 542 Popular Music in Choir, 2 cr.

    Choral elective courses (minimum of 4 credits)
    GMUS 517 Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom, 2 cr.
    GMUS 523 Teaching Adolescent Voices in a Choral Setting, 3 cr.
    GMUS 527 Vocal Jazz Techniques, 2 cr.
    GMUS 530 IPA/English/French Diction for Singers, 1 cr.
    GMUS 531 IPA/Italian/German Diction for Singers, 1 cr.
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 574 Applied Voice Study (30-minute lessons), 1 cr.
    GMUS 612 Topics in Music History, Literature and Theory, 3 cr.
    GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.
    GMUS 742 Kodály Level II, 3 cr.
    GMUS 765 American Folk Music, 3 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Instrumental Concentration

    The degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements that apply to the instrumental experience. Unique to this program is its emphasis on practical application in graduate study as well as cooperation among classroom, vocal, and instrumental music educators to produce superior music education in our schools and other musical settings. Informed pedagogy is the cornerstone of this concentration.

    Required instrumental concentration courses (11 credits)
    GMUS 570-592 Performance Studies - Piano, 2 cr.
    Major Instrument 30-minute lessons
    Secondary Instrument 30-minute lessons
    GMUS 665 Instrumental Musicianship Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 687 Advanced instrumental Score Study & Literature, 3 cr.
    GMUS 690 Advanced Instrumental Conducting, 3 cr.

    Instrumental elective courses (minimum of 5 credits)
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 557 Marching Band Techniques, 1 cr.
    GMUS 558 Small Ensemble and Solo Literature, 1 cr.
    GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    GMUS 664 Jazz Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Kodály Concentration

    The degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements specific to the general music teacher's work with students of all ages using the Kodály approach. Students will learn a developmentally sequential, active music-making approach that emphasizes singing, artistry, literacy, authentic music materials, reflective practice, and inquiry-based learning for teaching musical concepts and skills. Pedagogic tools include moveable-do tonic solfa, Curwen/Glover handsigns, and rhythm syllables.

    Required Kodály concentration courses (15 credits)
    GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    GMUS 731 Orff Schulwerk Level I, 3 cr.
    GMUS 741 Kodály Level I, 3 cr.
    GMUS 742 Kodály Level II, 3 cr.
    GMUS 743 Kodály Level III, 3 cr.

    Kodály elective courses (minimum of 2 credits)
    GMUS 517 Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom, 2 cr.
    GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Music to Young Singers, 2 cr.
    GMUS 523 Teaching Adolescent Voices in a Choral Setting, 3 cr.
    GMUS 527 Vocal Jazz, 2 cr.
    GMUS 530 IPA/English/French Diction for Singers, 1 cr.
    GMUS 531 IPA/Italian/German Diction for Singers, 1 cr.
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 570-592 Performance Studies, 1 cr. each
    GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.
    GMUS 676 Voice Fundamentals, 2 cr.
    GMUS 727 Advanced Choral Conducting, 2 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Orff Schulwerk Concentration

    This M.A. degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements that apply to the general music teacher's work with students of all ages using the Orff Schulwerk approach. In this concentration students will learn how to create an environment in which children become active, creative participants in their musical education by experiencing music through movement, song, speech and instrument playing.

    Required Orff Schulwerk concentration courses (11 credits)
    GMUS 731 Orff Schulwerk Level I, 3 cr.
    GMUS 732 Orff Schulwerk Level II, 3 cr.
    GMUS 733 Orff Schulwerk Level III, 3 cr.
    GMUS 735 Curriculum Development, 2 cr.

    Orff Schulwerk elective courses (minimum of 5 credits) 
    GMUS 517 Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom, 2 cr.
    GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Music to Young Singers, 2 cr.
    GMUS 532 Orff Master Class, 2 cr.
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.
    GMUS 726 Intermediate Choral Conducting, 2 cr.
    GMUS 741 Kodaly Level I, 3 cr.
    GMUS 765 American Folk Music, 3 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Piano Pedagogy  Concentration

    This degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements specific to the piano experience. Unique to the Master of Arts in Music Education program is its emphasis on practical application in graduate study as well as cooperation among classroom, vocal, and instrumental music educators to produce superior music education in our schools and other musical settings.

    The piano pedagogy concentration places emphasis on practical aspects of teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced students to develop their musicianship and technical skills.

    MTNA certification: Music Teachers National Association Professional Certification and the piano pedagogy programs at the University of St. Thomas.


    Required piano pedagogy concentration courses (11 credits)
    GMUS 571 Performance Studies - Piano (three semesters of 50-minute lessons), 3 cr.
    GMUS 771 Elementary Piano Materials & Teaching Techniques, 3 cr.
    GMUS 772 Intermediate Piano Materials & Teaching Techniques, 3 cr.
    GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching, 2 cr.

    Piano elective courses (minimum of 5 credits)
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 571 Advanced Performance Studies - Piano, 1 cr.
    GMUS 615 Performance Practices, 3 cr.
    GMUS 619 Keyboard Literature, 3 cr.
    GMUS 773 Advanced Piano Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching (additional semester), 1 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam
    Piano Recital

    Choral  Concentration

    This degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements specific to the choral experience. Unique to the Master of Arts in Music Education program is its emphasis on practical application in graduate study as well as cooperation among classroom, vocal, and instrumental music educators to produce superior music education in our schools and other musical settings.

    The choral concentration explores effective ways to enrich the choral experience for singers in our classrooms focusing on conducting, pedagogy, repertoire and vocal development.

    Required choral concentration courses (15 credits)
    GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Repertoire, 2 cr.
    GMUS 673 Choral Score Study and Literature I, 2 cr.
    GMUS 674 Choral Score Study and Literature II, 2 cr.
    GMUS 676 Voice Fundamentals, 2 cr.
    GMUS 726 Intermediate Choral Conducting, 2 cr.
    GMUS 727 Advanced Choral Conducting, 2 cr.
    GMUS 728 Advanced Choral Conducting Lab, 1 cr.

    Plus one of the following:
    GMUS 541 Global Traditions for Choirs, 2 cr.
    GMUS 542 Popular Music in Choir, 2 cr.

    Choral elective courses (minimum of 4 credits)
    GMUS 517 Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom, 2 cr.
    GMUS 523 Teaching Adolescent Voices in a Choral Setting, 3 cr.
    GMUS 527 Vocal Jazz Techniques, 2 cr.
    GMUS 530 IPA/English/French Diction for Singers, 1 cr.
    GMUS 531 IPA/Italian/German Diction for Singers, 1 cr.
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 574 Applied Voice Study (30-minute lessons), 1 cr.
    GMUS 612 Topics in Music History, Literature and Theory, 3 cr.
    GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.
    GMUS 742 Kodály Level II, 3 cr.
    GMUS 765 American Folk Music, 3 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Instrumental Concentration

    The degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements that apply to the instrumental experience. Unique to this program is its emphasis on practical application in graduate study as well as cooperation among classroom, vocal, and instrumental music educators to produce superior music education in our schools and other musical settings. Informed pedagogy is the cornerstone of this concentration.

    Required instrumental concentration courses (11 credits)
    GMUS 570-592 Performance Studies - Piano, 2 cr.
    Major Instrument 30-minute lessons
    Secondary Instrument 30-minute lessons
    GMUS 665 Instrumental Musicianship Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 687 Advanced instrumental Score Study & Literature, 3 cr.
    GMUS 690 Advanced Instrumental Conducting, 3 cr.

    Instrumental elective courses (minimum of 5 credits)
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 557 Marching Band Techniques, 1 cr.
    GMUS 558 Small Ensemble and Solo Literature, 1 cr.
    GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    GMUS 664 Jazz Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Kodály Concentration

    The degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements specific to the general music teacher's work with students of all ages using the Kodály approach. Students will learn a developmentally sequential, active music-making approach that emphasizes singing, artistry, literacy, authentic music materials, reflective practice, and inquiry-based learning for teaching musical concepts and skills. Pedagogic tools include moveable-do tonic solfa, Curwen/Glover handsigns, and rhythm syllables.

    Required Kodály concentration courses (15 credits)
    GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    GMUS 731 Orff Schulwerk Level I, 3 cr.
    GMUS 741 Kodály Level I, 3 cr.
    GMUS 742 Kodály Level II, 3 cr.
    GMUS 743 Kodály Level III, 3 cr.

    Kodály elective courses (minimum of 2 credits)
    GMUS 517 Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom, 2 cr.
    GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Music to Young Singers, 2 cr.
    GMUS 523 Teaching Adolescent Voices in a Choral Setting, 3 cr.
    GMUS 527 Vocal Jazz, 2 cr.
    GMUS 530 IPA/English/French Diction for Singers, 1 cr.
    GMUS 531 IPA/Italian/German Diction for Singers, 1 cr.
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 570-592 Performance Studies, 1 cr. each
    GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.
    GMUS 676 Voice Fundamentals, 2 cr.
    GMUS 727 Advanced Choral Conducting, 2 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Orff Schulwerk Concentration

    This M.A. degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements that apply to the general music teacher's work with students of all ages using the Orff Schulwerk approach. In this concentration students will learn how to create an environment in which children become active, creative participants in their musical education by experiencing music through movement, song, speech and instrument playing.

    Required Orff Schulwerk concentration courses (11 credits)
    GMUS 731 Orff Schulwerk Level I, 3 cr.
    GMUS 732 Orff Schulwerk Level II, 3 cr.
    GMUS 733 Orff Schulwerk Level III, 3 cr.
    GMUS 735 Curriculum Development, 2 cr.

    Orff Schulwerk elective courses (minimum of 5 credits) 
    GMUS 517 Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom, 2 cr.
    GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Music to Young Singers, 2 cr.
    GMUS 532 Orff Master Class, 2 cr.
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.
    GMUS 726 Intermediate Choral Conducting, 2 cr.
    GMUS 741 Kodaly Level I, 3 cr.
    GMUS 765 American Folk Music, 3 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Piano Pedagogy  Concentration

    This degree features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements specific to the piano experience. Unique to the Master of Arts in Music Education program is its emphasis on practical application in graduate study as well as cooperation among classroom, vocal, and instrumental music educators to produce superior music education in our schools and other musical settings.

    The piano pedagogy concentration places emphasis on practical aspects of teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced students to develop their musicianship and technical skills.

    MTNA certification: Music Teachers National Association Professional Certification and the piano pedagogy programs at the University of St. Thomas.


    Required piano pedagogy concentration courses (11 credits)
    GMUS 571 Performance Studies - Piano (three semesters of 50-minute lessons), 3 cr.
    GMUS 771 Elementary Piano Materials & Teaching Techniques, 3 cr.
    GMUS 772 Intermediate Piano Materials & Teaching Techniques, 3 cr.
    GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching, 2 cr.

    Piano elective courses (minimum of 5 credits)
    GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    GMUS 571 Advanced Performance Studies - Piano, 1 cr.
    GMUS 615 Performance Practices, 3 cr.
    GMUS 619 Keyboard Literature, 3 cr.
    GMUS 773 Advanced Piano Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    GMUS 800 Supervised Teaching (additional semester), 1 cr.

    Non-course requirements
    Music Diagnostic Exams
    Oral Comprehensive Exam
    Piano Recital

    Jane Frazee speaking

    01 A series of excellence

    Jane Frazee Distinguished Scholar-Artist Series

    Since 1990, the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Programs in Music Education has sponsored a summer seminar in which distinguished figures in music and arts education present their work to the community of music educators in the Twin Cities metro area.

    Alumni Outcomes

    Music Ed student Adrian Davis Music Education graduate Elizabeth Camozzi Music Education graduate Reid Wixson. Music Education graduate Sarah Minette.
    01 / 04

    Adrian Davis ‘17

    In 2013, Adrian assumed the duties and responsibilities of establishing a music department at Roosevelt High School. He was nominated a quarterfinalist for Grammy Music Educator of the Year in 2014 and 2016 and was featured on Classical MPR in January 2014 for excellence in music education.

    02 / 04

    Elizabeth Johnson ’12

    Liz has taught K-8 music at H.O.P.E. Academy and Noble Academy in Minnesota. H.O.P.E. Academy served as a beginning for Liz’s teaching experience where she acted as a Hmong-English bilingual teacher and learned conversational Hmong for the children’s comfort.

    03 / 04

    Reid Wixson '10

    Reid earned his MA in Instrumental Education and is currently the Director of Instrumental Music at Southwest High School in Minneapolis. In 2018, he was invited to speak at the Midwest Clinic and is a force for change in the music education field.

    04 / 04

    Sarah Minette '11

    Sarah is a music educator at Minneapolis South High School and adjunct faculty at St. Thomas. She has taught middle school band, jazz band, marching band, and most recently, secondary general music. Her focus is on providing music making opportunities for every student.

    Faculty

    Dr. Matthew George

    Dr. Matthew George

    Dr. George holds a DMA degree in conducting from the University of North Texas, a MM degree in music education from Southern Methodist University, and a BM degree in music education and trumpet performance from Ithaca College. He is Professor of Music and the Director of Bands and Orchestra at St. Thomas.

    Dr. Matthew George
    Dr. Shersten Johnson

    Dr. Shersten Johnson

    Dr. Johnson received her PhD in Music Theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a doctoral minor in Composition, a MM in Composition from California State University-Northridge and a BA in Music from Augsburg College, where her emphasis was in flute performance.

    Dr. Shersten Johnson
    Dr. Bruce Gleason

    Dr. Bruce Gleason

    Stemming from a career that has spanned all levels of instrumental and vocal music instruction, kindergarten through graduate school, Bruce Gleason teaches and advises students within Graduate Programs in Music Education.

    Dr. Bruce Gleason
    Music teacher Arvida Steen at lecturn.

    01

    Arvida Steen

    The Arvida Steen Orff Schulwerk Studies Scholarship was established in 2004 to recognize Arvida's extensive and generous support to music education. Arvida taught in the St. Thomas Orff Schulwerk Certificate Program from 1972-2003, serving as director for four years.