Online Masters Degree in Music Education: Program Overviews

Learn about online master's degrees with music education courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

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Degree Program Overview

Online music education master's degree programs usually require completion of approximately 30 credit hours. Theses programs provide current music teachers with a focused education in advanced musicology and music theory, as well as innovative teaching techniques. Distance-learning students gain in-depth historical and cultural approaches to teaching a variety of music and musical techniques in areas such as American music, African music and jazz.

Equipment requirements may include speakers, sound cards, a computer camera and a headset microphone. In-person requirements may include summer courses and a final project or thesis presentation.

Master's Degree in Music Education

Courses in an online master's degree program in music education explore advanced research and teaching methodologies, as well as the sociological and psychological aspects of music education. Some programs may require students to complete a thesis or final capstone project, as well as a written exam. Some schools may require this project to be presented and defended on campus.

Information and Requirements

Online master's programs in music are often cohort-based; students are placed in small groups that are maintained throughout the duration of the semester. Students typically complete 2-3 courses per semester, and online classes may be offered in accelerated time frames of two months or less. Courses are most often offered in asynchronous format, allowing students to study at their own pace; however, some may call for synchronized sessions that require students to login to a real-time virtual class.

Interaction is conducted through chat sessions, e-mail and message boards via distance learning instructional platforms such as Blackboard. Access to virtual course materials and lectures requires specified computer hardware and software, as well as a reliable Internet connection. Additionally, students may need speakers, sound cards, a computer camera and a headset microphone.

Course Topics

The master's degree program features courses in music education research, philosophy and history, along with courses in the following areas:

  • Music technology
  • Analytical techniques
  • Orchestration and conducting
  • Musical pedagogy
  • Music research
  • Composing
  • Podcasting

Career Information

Graduates of an online master's degree program in music education may be qualified for music teaching positions in elementary, middle and high schools, as well as community colleges and performing arts companies. Some universities may also hire a candidate with a master's degree, but many prefer to hire those with a doctorate degree.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed annual mean wages of $70,690 for junior college music teachers (along with art and drama teachers) in 2015. The average wage for music teachers in performing arts companies was $64,940 during that time.

Online master's degree programs in music education are available through distance learning programs. These programs emphasize teaching methodologies, and the sociological and psychological aspects of music education.

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