Which are the best online music education master’s degrees in the US? We help you find the best master’s degree program for music educators.
A master’s in music education program is a graduate-level degree that integrates research components with various courses that provide students the opportunity to analyze, create, and share their own music education practices. Students typically complete a portfolio and undertake in-depth action research on a topic of their choosing, in addition to completing didactic coursework.
A master’s in music education degree program provides training designed for musicians who work in the field of education. This includes:
Online students who enroll and study full-time typically complete a master’s in music education degree in two years. But since each program has different required credit hours and coursework, the average time-to-degree may change.
Some students work while pursuing their degrees, which could lengthen the time it takes them to complete the degree. Conversely, the amount of time it takes to graduate can be shortened by enrolling in accelerated classes.
A master’s degree typically costs $62,650. If students enroll with an out-of-state status or attend private schools, their tuition costs will likely increase substantially.
A master’s degree earned online, however, may be a less expensive option. Since there are fewer administrative expenses at an online school, tuition fees can be cheaper.
Keep reading and explore the best online music education master’s and what to expect during and after earning them.
Master’s in music education degrees are offered in four-year universities across the nation. As online education becomes more prevalent in colleges and universities in the United States, there’s an increasing number of schools offering online master’s in music degrees.
Like the traditional brick-and-mortar master’s in music education degrees, online master in music degree programs require students to complete 30-33 credit hours of coursework. The average completion time of a master in music education online is two years if students enroll full-time. Part-time students take longer, up to three and a half years.
You can often select a concentration, such as conducting, special education, or music technology.
While admission requirements for music programs vary from program to program, prospective students must hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in music, to qualify for a master’s program in music education. Courses in online music education degrees are created with working professionals in mind, which is why most of them conduct classes in asynchronous learning formats.Back to Top
Because the best online master in music education degrees provide the same rigorous curriculum as an on-campus program, admission requirements can still be stringent. The most common admission requirement is an undergraduate degree in music or other music-related fields.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, prospective online music students should also expect to fill out an application form and pay a non-refundable application fee. Students are also expected to submit transcripts, resumes, and letters of recommendation and pass the university’s entrance exam. More selective music schools would also require applicants to submit a music audition video and pass an interview.
Although there are few exceptions, the majority of colleges have their own online application processes. As such, be sure to familiarize yourself with the website of your preferred university and understand how to start the application process properly.
The first step of applying is submitting an application form. This form will require you to write down personal information, such as name, address, contact information, etc.
GRE or GMAT scores are often required for graduate programs in music education. If you fulfill specific GPA requirements, some programs will eliminate this requirement.
When applying to colleges, work experience is a huge benefit to your chances of acceptance. It demonstrates your propensity to pursue an ambitious career. Your willingness to work at a part-time job, summer employment, internship, or even volunteer work will undoubtedly impress admissions committees.
A letter of recommendation is a piece of documentation, in addition to your resume/CV, that speaks about your accomplishments, character traits, and skill set. This paper is crucial for demonstrating your credibility and worthiness. Moreover, your chances of getting accepted into the college or university of your choosing is boosted with a strong letter of recommendation.
Online degrees in music education often require their applicants to submit at least two letters of recommendation from professors, employers, mentors, or other qualified professionals.
Another way to prove your passion and dedication to the field is by writing a stellar personal statement/essay. This requirement allows the admissions committee to learn about you, how you think and make decisions, how your past experiences have shaped you, and how you see your future.
Until the institution receives an official transcript from each of your undergraduate universities, your application is incomplete. This means that even if you did not graduate from any of the institutions you attended, you must send a transcript from each one.
Key Point: Some online master’s in music programs may require a personal interview in addition to their other admission requirements.
The main goal of online master’s degree in music education program is to help students become more musically literate while simultaneously equipping them with the skills necessary to teach other people interested in music at various levels. A master’s program in music teaching might include any of the following courses:
This course covers music education curriculum development topics. Learning theories, best practices for developing curricula, and assessments specifically related to music education teaching are some of the specific themes covered.
The significance of conducting evaluations and methods to gauge musical aptitude are covered in this course. Students learn about standardized tests to evaluate proficiency and how teachers design efficient classroom examinations.
This course introduces students to various educational research methods in music, emphasizing design and analysis and critically critiquing some recent music education research projects. Students will be better equipped to comprehend music education research, identify “good” research, and know how to apply it in their classroom.
Students explore the psychological theories and ideas about music and how individuals react to it. Students learn how music is interacted with by teachers, performers, composers, and listeners and the function that music serves in society.
This course covers several topics, including music therapy, communal music in education, the study of music from many cultures, and ethnomusicology. The social, political, cultural, and economic aspects that influence community music may be discussed. Students may also design and evaluate their own community music project as part of the course.
Students majoring in music education must often select a concentration within their field of study at many universities. These are some of the most popular concentrations for master’s in music education students, though they may differ by college:
One of the most common music education concentrations is early childhood music. This concentration is open to students interested in teaching music to young students. Students may study conducting, pedagogical theory, and particular teaching methods for instructing the smallest music enthusiasts.
Students in this concentration study the technologies that can be utilized to create or teach music. Music theory, music research, and educational philosophies are all covered in the course material.
The specifics of conducting an orchestra, choir, or band in a school setting are covered in this specialization. Advanced directing techniques, curriculum building, rehearsal procedures, and score preparation are all included in the course material.
This concentration looks at the psychology and background of musical performance. Students learn about recital research, performance philosophies, and current performance education trends.
The special education concentration is one of the rarest concentrations offered. The topics covered in this specialization include using music in special education classrooms to assist pupils in overcoming their particular challenges.
A master’s in music education program that takes a thorough, all-encompassing approach prepares graduates to meet the diverse needs of their students better, whether the objective is to find new career opportunities or to improve how the next generation is instilled with a love of music.
It’s crucial to only consider programs that have received official accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music to guarantee that you receive the highest education standard possible for your career ambitions. These degree programs have excellent content quality, impressive instructor credentials, and a wide range of student resources.
Other factors you must consider include cost, location, and student support services. While didactic coursework can be done online, some graduate programs require students to travel to campus and complete experiential learning opportunities, which is why it’s necessary to apply to an online program near your area.
And as an online student, you will be getting less support than your on-campus peers; thus, you need to ensure that the graduate program offers students support services for its online students, such as tutoring and career counseling, among others.
In addition to the mentioned factors, here are some other overlooked factors that prospective students should take into account:
While all master’s in music education degrees focus on research, you must ensure that the program includes the most recent evidence-based teaching techniques. Talk with an alum or the school and inquire about their opportunities to work on related research projects.
Online programs that offer extensive fieldwork and classroom training programs are not to be overlooked. Sure, you want flexibility, so you choose to learn online. However, online music education programs with fieldwork and classroom training offer a priceless learning opportunity that is not available in any other way.
The best online master’s in music education programs will develop your abilities in a secure, encouraging environment without worrying about logistical issues. Additionally, you can count on valuable, in-the-moment feedback from your classmates and professors, which will ultimately help you become a better music teacher.
Searches for programs with residency or fieldwork components can be focused on by music teachers who want to obtain experience with live performances and ensembles. These master’s programs are also great for networking and bringing together educators so that they may spur one another on to become better teachers.
Although it may seem unnecessary to some, non-music classes, such as philosophy, computer science, psychology, and art, can broaden one’s perspective and help one develop more effective teaching techniques. Fundamental knowledge of psychology, for instance, can help future music teachers better relate to their students, fostering a climate of safety and trust that enables them to flourish.Back to Top
Upon earning your master’s degree in music education, you will have advanced in skills, such as strong research, writing, teaching, critical thinking, assessment, and evaluation, that you can use in teaching and non-teaching music careers. These skills will help you qualify for senior positions with greater compensation.
Graduates of an online master in music education degree can work in public or private schools, postsecondary institutions, as a choir or group director, or in private instruction. Salary ranges vary depending on the region and the field of study.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for postsecondary art, theater, and music teachers is $ 77,280. The BLS predicts that the job outlook for teachers in primary and secondary schools will be “good to excellent” until at least 2031. The BLS estimates that the job growth rate for teaching professionals will be 7% overall.
Following are some career possibilities for graduates of a master’s degree in music education:
Music educators in elementary schools use their expertise to teach children how to play an instrument or appreciate music. Equipped with a music degree, these teachers construct age-appropriate lesson plans for young students, create and evaluate student assignments, and work one-on-one with children to provide them with additional support as needed.
Average Annual Salary: $61,350
High school music teachers give lessons on how to play an instrument and perform in front of an audience or instruct pupils on various musical subjects, like music theory. Creating a lesson plan, evaluating students’ abilities, offering advice to help them grow, and developing classroom rules are part of being a high school music teacher.
Average Annual Salary: $61,820
Music curriculum developers enhance the educational opportunities provided in a school system. They assess what is being taught in the classroom and make necessary revisions. These experts examine data to determine how children perform on exams, assess and suggest teaching aids, and educate other instructors to help them be more effective in the classroom.
Average Annual Salary: $62,430
Managing a band’s performance and recording operations falls within the purview of music directors and composers. Leading rehearsals in preparation for a performance in front of an audience or a studio, choosing the musical arrangements that will be played, staying current with music in many genres, and writing unique songs are only a few of their responsibilities.
Average Annual Salary:$49,130
Large and small churches rely on music ministry directors to select the music performed during services and provide guidance to choirs and musicians. Job duties may include auditioning performers, leading rehearsals, and planning music for special events such as holiday services.
Average Annual Salary: $50,544
We want to ensure that you won’t be spending a dime on online music schools that cannot guarantee a good return on investment. The following online Master’s in Music Education degree programs offer various theoretical approaches but are all designed to prepare students for careers as future music educators.
The schools on the list are offered online at reasonable costs to ensure flexibility and the best value. However, it is important to note that some coursework may require a combination of in-person and online courses.
All of the music education programs are provided by regionally accredited universities, demonstrating that they adhere to the highest education standards. They are also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), an organization recognizing quality in music-related degree programs.
Tuition + fees
Boston University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Retention Rate: 94.0%
Graduation Rate: 88.5%
Average Online Tuition: $31,944
Boston University, accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, is a popular private institution known worldwide for providing a high caliber of education. BU has over 650 courses on global themes, students from nearly 100 nations, and alums residing in more than 180 nations. Another strong feature of the university is its small class sizes that allow each student to receive individualized attention from instructors.
The web-based Master of Music in Music Education at BU is known for its theory-to-practice learning approach. Students in the music program are required to complete 32 credit hours that focus on evaluating several pieces of music education research.
Students also explore non-music courses, such as philosophy, sociology, and psychology. They can tailor their degrees to align with their career aspirations by choosing their own electives. Full-time students can complete all coursework in about 18 months.
Tuition + fees
University of Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Retention Rate: 97.0%
Graduation Rate: 88.2%
Average Online Tuition: $12,740
The University of Florida is known for offering a few of the most affordable, high-quality degree programs that are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. The school is also popular for offering several online degree programs that adhere to the same standard as their on-campus programs. The University of Florida offers over 200 degrees that can be completed online or via distance learning and extends various financial aid opportunities to its online students.
UF’s accredited online Master’s of Music in Music Education is a two-year, 33-credit online graduate program combining in-depth musical study with a careful analysis of modern teaching strategies. It is ideal for current music educators wishing to improve their capacity to promote student engagement with music. Online students are eligible to apply for the graduate research award, which offers funding for travel and other associated costs.
Tuition + fees
University of Georgia’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Retention Rate: 95.0%
Graduation Rate: 86.4%
Average Online Tuition: $20,757
The University of Georgia was the first college in America to be founded by a state legislature. UGA is the state’s oldest and largest school, with over 37,000 student enrollments. UGA offers over 100 online bachelor’s, master’s, and graduate certificate programs.
One of its online master’s degree programs is the Master of Music Education, which accepts applicants without GRE scores. This degree is one of the fastest accelerated online music education degrees at the graduate level, having an average completion time of 14 months.
Students must complete 33 credit hours and choose one of the three emphases: general, choral, or instrumental music. Online students have access to various online resources valuable for future success.
UGA Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges-approved.
Tuition + fees
University at Buffalo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
New York at Buffalo
Retention Rate: 86%
Graduation Rate: 73.2%
Average Online Tuition: $11,330.00
The University at Buffalo is the biggest and most inclusive campus in the State University of New York system and is a top-tier public university focusing on research. Nearly 30,000 students enroll in the school’s more than 300 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. The University of Buffalo is accredited by the Middle States Consortium for Higher Education.
The school offers an advanced degree in Music Education Studies designed for applicants with various experiences working in the music industry. This 33-credit hour degree can be completed online or in a hybrid learning format, depending on your interests.
Graduate students are required to complete a capstone course to earn the degree. Moreover, online students are encouraged to join music organizations for networking purposes.
Tuition + fees
University of South Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Retention Rate: 91.0%
Graduation Rate: 74%
Average Online Tuition: $7,802.24
The University of South Florida is a preeminent state research university that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. The school serves over 50,000 students and offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, specialty, and doctoral degrees.
The online Master of Arts in Music Education is a 30-credit hour program focusing on alternative pedagogical and research techniques. In addition to online coursework, students will be required to complete a one-week on-campus experience that allows them to reflect and connect with fellow future music educators. This master’s degree is designed for students interested in continuing on to earn a PhD.
Tuition + fees
Texas Tech University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Retention Rate: 85.0%
Graduation Rate: 62.2%
Average Online Tuition: $16,180
Texas Tech University, a public research university, is a member of a system comprising TTU Health Sciences Center and Angelo State University. TTU is accredited by the SACSCOC to grant certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees online and on-campus.
The Master of Music Education at TTU is a 30 to 36-credit hour program that can be completed online or in a hybrid learning format. Students planning to enroll in a PhD degree after their master’s are encouraged to enroll in the 30-credit thesis track.
TTU also offers a BM+ Early Admission MMED program that allows outstanding students to enroll in 9 specific hours and have them count toward both TTU’s Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master’s in Music Education degrees.
Tuition + fees
Florida International University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Retention Rate: 90%
Graduation Rate: 73.9%
Average Online Tuition: $9,224
Florida International University is far ahead in supporting the academic and local communities as the first and only public research institution in Miami that grants bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. FIU is a top-tier research institution.
FIU offers a highly individualized online Master of Science in Music Education degree that can be completed with zero campus visitations. This is a highly customizable 30-credit hour degree that can be completed in two years, with a required capstone-directed research project or a master’s thesis. A personal success coach offers one-on-one assistance to distance learners.
FIU is accredited by the SACSCOC.
Tuition + fees
San Jose State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
San Jose, California
Retention Rate: 83.0%
Graduation Rate: 63.7%
Average Online Tuition: $9,426
With 145 academic areas and an additional 108 concentrations, San Jose State University offers a rigorous university education. At SJSU, where tenured professors instruct introductory and advanced courses, excellent instruction and small classes are priorities. The WASC Senior College and University Commission accredits the school.
The online Three-Summer Master’s Program in Music Education at San Jose State is a hybrid degree program that provides students with world-class theoretical and best-practice classes. The summer master’s degree is offered by a fully accredited department that uses the same course materials as the traditional master’s degree. The El Sistema concepts of accessibility, young development, demanding musicianship, and community development are the foundation of the school’s music education curriculum.
Tuition + fees
University of Minnesota’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Retention Rate: 93.0%
Graduation Rate: 83%
Average Online Tuition: $14,289
The University of Minnesota, a comprehensive research institution, is proud of its rigorous academics and strong school spirit. More than 150 majors are available at the school, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. There are many chances for students to do research and experiential learning.
The University of Minnesota’s Master of Music in Music Education degree is a 33-credit hour program that provides students with a solid understanding of music history, philosophy, practice, and curriculum design.
Students can choose between a Pedagogical Track or Research Track. Classes are held online in the evenings in synchronous formats. During the summer, students are required to attend week-long seminars. Courses include curriculum design, music technology, and pedagogy.
Tuition + fees
Georgia College & State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 63%
Average Online Tuition: $23,239
Public liberal arts university Georgia College and State University emphasize leadership and hands-on education. More than 600 students take advantage of the university’s leadership initiatives, which offer workshops, retreats, and scholarship possibilities. The school offers one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios, allowing students to build stronger connections with the university’s world-class faculty.
The school’s online Master of Music Education is a 30-credit hour graduate degree designed for students who want to develop the abilities required to teach music while maintaining a liberal arts focus. Students can customize their degree to align with their career goals and concentrate their studies on primary school music education, choral music education, or instrumental music education.
While no residency is required, online students must complete a capstone project and pass a comprehensive exam.
Georgia College and State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
There are several reasons why music education is important in classrooms. Music helps keep children interested in class, from math and science to history. Teachers can include music instruction in their regular classes, if not as a separate subject.
The length of the program depends on several factors. However, full-time students in a 30-33 credits MME program can complete the coursework in as little as two years. Some accelerated degree programs can be completed in as little as 14-18 months.
The answer depends on your personal goals. If you have a bachelor’s degree in music, you must get a master’s in music education to be certified as a teacher of classic and contemporary music education in a public school setting. Completing an accredited online master’s in music education can also help you grow professionally if you’re already a music instructor.
MME graduates are required to obtain a state teaching license exam to work in a K–12 setting. In most states, licensed music educators must renew their licenses every three to five years and complete continuing education requirements.
You can also obtain the Music Teachers National Association accreditation to increase your credibility. Those who want to advance their positions and pursue positions in postsecondary institutions must obtain a PhD and pursue a specialization.