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Student playing gourds.

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Certificate in Teaching World Music

Certificate in Teaching World Music

This is a program designed for professional teachers and those wishing to enter the profession who would like to formally pursue studies in world music pedagogy, but who do not wish to attain a graduate degree. Certificate students will receive academic credit through the Graduate Programs in Music Education.


Those who wish to work toward the certificate may do so regardless of academic background or teaching experience. It is assumed that students will have sufficient background in musical study (at least an undergraduate degree in music) and preferably some teaching experience. An application, interview, and (when appropriate) academic transcripts will determine eligibility for the certificate. Students must be enrolled as nondegree or graduate students in order to have courses apply toward the certificate.

Students dance during a World Music class.

Our Commitment

People of all walks of life come to St. Thomas to study music education. Our programs are designed for teachers by teachers, many of whom teach in elementary and secondary schools. You'll be inspired by our faculty, our community and our commitment to serving professional music educators, like you.

Students play drums in a World Music class.

Classes and Curriculum

Four required courses (9 credits):

  • GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
  • GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
  • GMUS 601 Teaching and Learning, 3 cr.
  • GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.

Capstone (3 credits):

  • GMUS 538 Teaching World Music Capstone, 3 cr

Elective courses selected in consultation with the Director of Graduate Programs in Music Education (6 credits):

  • GMUS 570 Piano Studies, 1 cr.
  • GMUS 574 Voice Studies, 1 cr.
  • GMUS 591 Guitar Studies, 1 cr.
  • GMUS 611 Perspectives in Music Theory, 3 cr.
  • GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
  • GMUS 733 Orff Schulwerk Level I, 3 cr.
  • GMUS 741 Kodály Level I, 3 cr.
  • GMUS 841 Development in Music Education, 3 cr.
  • GMUS 5xx Other Instrument Studies, 1 cr.

Additional courses with consent of Program Director.

Course Offerings

Our summer programming features an exciting array of world music offerings with opportunities to learn about cultures through songs, movement, dance experiences and instrumental music.

Find course descriptions and the full lineup of options in the course catalog.


Our World Music faculty bring years of research, teaching and performing experience to you each summer. They focus on authentic practice in courses that are based upon hands-on learning. They are some of the most highly sought-after teacher educators in the country. They will change your teaching!

Dr. Karen Howard headshot

Dr. Karen Howard

Dr. Karen Howard is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of St. Thomas teaching music education methods, core graduate courses, world music pedagogy, and advising masters theses. In addition to her university schedule, Dr. Howard is a national and international clinician specializing in children’s music culture, ethnomusicology, creative and folk-dance traditions, early childhood music education, assessment, and curriculum development.

Dr. Karen Howard
Sowah Mensah headshot

Sowah Mensah

Sowah Mensah is an ethnomusicologist, composer and a “Master Drummer” from Ghana, West Africa. Sowah has taught music in both Ghana and Nigeria and is currently a music professor at both Macalester College, and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN where he directs each school’s African Music Ensemble.

Sowah Mensah