Online Music Degree Program Overviews with School Information

Get info about online programs in music. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Inside Online Programs

Many fully online music programs are offered through graduate degree programs in education. Through music programs, such as those available at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis and Boston University, students can learn to play a variety of musical instruments, teach music to others or use music as a therapeutic method.

Distance learning students access online classrooms to view video lectures, complete assignments and study techniques for music therapy. They can use a variety of communication tools, including chat rooms and discussion forums, to participate in class discussions or share projects.

Some music programs have synchronous components, which require students to attend live virtual classes at a scheduled time using conferencing technologies. In some cases, students may be required to complete on-site residencies or hands-on experiences. A culminating experience such as a thesis or dissertation is completed as well.

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI)

IUPUI was the first school to offer a fully online music program in the United States. Students at IUPUI can enroll in the university's master's degree programs. Individuals pursuing the Master of Science in Music Therapy must have a bachelor's degree and board certification as a music therapist. Submissions of applicants' projects in music authorship or technology are also requested.

Master of Science in Music Therapy

This 30-credit graduate program incorporates both clinical practice in music therapy and music performance classes. Students are required to complete clinical experiences at hospitals through sessions arranged by IUPUI. Students are able to gain practical experience providing music therapy in supervised situations.

Students learn ways music can be therapeutic through core coursework. More advanced courses provide information about specific music therapy practices and research methods.

Course Topics

Students can expect to study the following topics:

  • Music therapy philosophy and theory
  • Music in medicine
  • Quantitative and qualitative research
  • Advanced clinical techniques

A thesis is also required of distance learners. This requires considerable research in an area related to music therapy clinical practice.

School Information

  • School Population (2015): 30,105
  • Graduate Tuition Rate (2015-2016): $8,136

Boston University

Several music programs at Boston University are offered at the graduate level. Usually, the courses familiarize students with a wide variety of musical studies. Prior to acceptance, students must have a bachelor's degree and are required to demonstrate an ability to use and understand music through a proficiency exam.

Master of Music in Music Education

The music education master's degree program is made up of eight online courses. Students can complete the courses in 18-24 months, learning from faculty members who are recognized in the fields of music and music education. Core courses include analytical music techniques, music theory, music technology and research. Students can also study certain genres of music, such as:

  • American music
  • African music and culture
  • Cultural perspectives on the blues
  • Jazz musical arrangement

Students in this program complete a comprehensive project as their culminating experience. Its focus is on the development of a music education curriculum, and students must explore its implementation and assessment.

Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education

This 2-year online degree program in music education provides students with the knowledge needed to teach various musical types. Applicants must have a master's degree and also three years of music teaching experience. Leadership experience in the field, as well as a video recording of the applicant's teaching, must be submitted as well.

Students learn methods for teaching music education more effectively and also study the latest research in the field. In addition to the 11 online courses, students must spend a week on campus as part of a residency requirement. Students complete online courses in subjects that include arranging music, musical crossroads and educational research in music. As doctoral candidates, students must take multiple qualifying exams in addition to completing an orally-defended dissertation.

School Information

  • School Population (2015): 32,158
  • Graduate Tuition Rate (2015-2016): $47,422

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis and Boston University are just two of the numerous programs that offer online graduate degrees in music. These programs allow students to work fully online in a variety of majors, such as music education and music therapy.

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