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Doctor of Musical Arts: Music Education Degree Overview

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Music Education programs provide aspiring academics with in-depth knowledge of musicology and music research through courses that cover a variety of sub-topics and provide direct performance experience.

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Essential Information

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Music Education programs foster the personal and professional goals of its students through coursework covering musicology and the historical, theoretical, sociological, philosophical, methodological and pedagogical aspects of music. Students also gain skills in research, music criticism and leadership. As part of the curriculum, participation in performance groups and individual or assembly recitals is often required in addition to annual reviews and research leading to a dissertation. For admission, many programs expect applicants to have a related master's degree, such as a Master of Music, and prior experience or background in both music and education.


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Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Music Education

Throughout a doctoral music education program, students may take courses that discuss new technologies, music literature, cultural diversity, historical approaches and aesthetic traditions as applied to the field. Students may study other topics that address:

  • Music psychology
  • Composition and arrangement
  • Instrumental techniques
  • Learning theories
  • Assessment

Popular Career Options

Graduates from a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education program are qualified for advanced careers in teaching, administration and research at a variety of educational institutions, including public and private colleges and universities. Common positions include the following:

  • Music teachers
  • Conductors
  • Music program administrators

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for composers and music directors is predicted to increase by 3% between 2014-2024. Over that same period, postsecondary teachers and administrators may experience a 13% and 9% growth in employment opportunities, respectively. As far as mean annual salaries, as of May 2015, composers and music directors earned $59,040 and postsecondary teachers of art, music and drama made $76,710. Postsecondary administrators made mean salaries of $102,610.

Students interested in an interdisciplinary study of music should consider applying to a Doctor of Musical Arts program. Individuals with this degree can go on to pursue careers as composers, administrators or educators in postsecondary settings.

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