Music Education

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The Ph.D. in music program offers advanced study of the process of teaching and learning music with a research-based perspective for individuals seeking greater breadth and depth in the music education profession and/or careers in higher education and music administration. It is designed to provide opportunities for a high level of scholarly study in the processes of teaching and learning music. Candidates will be expected to develop and test new knowledge in the field of music education while preparing themselves for positions in higher education or other leadership roles within the profession.

The program will enable the students to recognize and validate problems, develop an original, independent and critical thinking, and develop theoretical concepts, obtain a knowledge of recent advances within one's field and in related areas, have an understanding of relevant research methodologies and techniques and their appropriate application within one's research field, analyze critically and evaluate one's findings and those of other, and summarize, document, report and reflect on progress.

The curriculum of a Ph.D. in Music program examines advanced musical analysis techniques for compositions from many historical periods and for many ensemble types. Students explore approaches to teaching musical analysis. Nearly all programs require students to complete an original dissertation and defend it orally before a panel of academic advisors. Below are some of the topics that may be included in a music theory doctoral curriculum: music theory pedagogy, historical music theories, tonal analysis, 20th century music analysis, and measurement and evaluation in music.

Applying to the major in Music Education:

  • Application for Music Education
  • Teaching portfolio for review by the music education faculty. The specific requirements for inclusion in this portfolio include a resume, personal statement, tapes, evaluations, etc.
  • A music history or music theory research paper demonstrating advanced analytic, scholarly, and writing abilities must be submitted with the application. It may be a term paper, seminar report, or an MA thesis, if applicable.
  • A personal statement must be submitted with the application.
  • Interview on a designated date.


Admission Requirements

  • All students must meet the general admission requirements of the Graduate Program. Students majoring in music must have an earned bachelor's degree or equivalent with a major in music from an accredited institution.
  • All students seeking admission into the graduate music program are required to submit evidence of ability and special interest in their chosen area of specialization.
  • Music Education: In addition to an audition on a principal performance medium, students specializing in music education must fulfill one of the following:
  • From those applicants whose major performance area includes conducting, the submission of a recorded sample of the applicant's choral and/or instrumental school-ensemble performances;
  • The visitation and evaluation, by members of the music education faculty, of the applicant in his/her current teaching position;
  • An interview before the coordinator of the music education area and one other music education faculty member.

The prerequisite of this course is a master's degree of any course. The majority of Ph.D. in Music graduates pursues careers in academic institutions and publishes scholarly works examining musical works from all eras. Below is a list of some of the positions associated with a Ph.D. in music theory: college music theory professor, music theory historian, and museum music specialist.