With degrees at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels, the music education area seeks to prepare students to become music educators of the highest professional caliber by offering a comprehensive curriculum based on cutting-edge research, providing ongoing mentorship from engaged faculty, and involving students in hands-on school-based learning throughout their academic experience.
Undergraduate music education majors choose instrumental, choral, or general music as areas of emphases. Depending on their instrument or voice, they gain expertise from the School of Music's more than 20 choirs, orchestras, bands and performing ensembles. Undergraduate students develop as music educators through coursework and personal guidance from faculty mentors. They also develop teaching skills through early and intensive field experiences in classrooms.
During their freshman year, they begin to observe and work with public school music teachers and progress to onsite pre-service teaching experiences, culminating in a final student teaching semester. These hands-on experiences prepare graduates to be effective music teachers. The coursework meets the requirements for a K-12 music teaching endorsement from the Utah State Office of Education.
Because many prospective graduate students work full-time as music educators, the School of Music offers masters and PhD music education degree programs that may be completed after school hours or during the summers, as well as flexible degree structures designed to meet a variety of student interests and areas of expertise.
Graduate students in music education have great flexibility in selecting their course work, with up to 12 credit hours of electives. Students can choose courses from a variety of areas within the School of Music, including applied lessons and ensembles. Students work directly with their major professor to determine how to accomplish their goals. The University of Utah is the only institution in Utah to grant a PhD in music education.
Karen Willie and Brittany May, PhD students in music education, presented their research by invitation at the Utah Music Educators Association Conference in St. George in January 2013. Music Education faculty Mark Ely and Joelle Lien also presented their research at this conference.
Choral music education student Michael Mills was named the national winner of the ACDA Brock Student Commission for his composition Raising the Bar, which was performed twice at the 2011 American Choral Directors' Conference in Chicago.