Music Education and Music Therapy Division

The UK School of Music offers degree programs in Music Education at both undergraduate and graduate levels. We also offer continuing education for music teachers through workshops, summer programs and certificate programs.

2012 commencement Photo from left to right: Dr. Nicola Mason,
Dr. Cecilia Wang, Dr. W. Todd Anderson, Dr. April Kite

The UK School of Music also offers a graduate degree in Music Therapy.

Music Education and Music Therapy Degrees and Certificates

  • BM in Music Education
  • MM in Music Education
  • MM in Music Therapy (Traditional/Combined Equivalency-Master's programs)
  • PhD in Music Education
  • Rank I in Music Education
  • Graduate Certificate in Orff Schulwerk
  • Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy

Bachelor of Music in Music Education

Music Education at the University of Kentucky is a joint program between the School of Music and the College of Education.  However, except for a series of three professional education courses, all classes are taught by music professors. Music Education majors may choose between a vocal/elementary general music track or a instrumental (band/orchestra) track. UK subscribes to the philosophy that training in music education should be as practical and hands-on as possible. Consequently, the curriculum includes a series of undergraduate seminars that integrate the real experiences of the music teacher in the elementary or secondary schools with the development of skills for becoming an outstanding teacher.  From the practical experience of conducting and rehearsing the school band, chorus or orchestra to the development of a highly personal philosophy of teaching music, these seminars provide a rich foundation on which to build a successful career.  In addition to the seminars, the music education majors also specialize in the teaching of general music in the elementary school with emphasis on the Orff-Schulwerk approach, the vocal majors with two principal courses, the instrumental majors with one.   An elementary music education laboratory, complete with instruments, music books, method materials, and technological equipment is part of the Lucille Little Fine Arts Library and is used extensively by music education students at all levels and by elementary education students from the College of Education.  A comprehensive study of brass, woodwind, percussion and string instruments are included in the curriculum at varying degrees, depending on the specialization and student background.  A rich environment of successful school programs in Lexington/Fayette County and surrounding counties provide students with a wealth of opportunities for observations throughout their sophomore and junior years and for their semester-long student teaching experience.

The School of Music is particularly proud that alumni in music education are teaching in the public schools of some 26 states around the country as well as in prestigious positions at major universities such as UCLA, University of Florida, Florida State University, Syracuse University, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Middle Tennessee University and the University of Kentucky as well as a number of smaller colleges and universities.

For music education majors at UK, even though preparation for teaching is a primary goal, it is equally important that all students are expected to be well-trained musicians.  In most cases, there is minimal difference between the performance and academic expectations for music education majors and those who are classified as performance majors. An outstanding performance faculty in voice, keyboard, strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion provides superior instruction for all music education majors.  Relative to the development of musicianship for all music education majors is the experiences of playing in outstanding performing organizations, including the University Chorale, University Choristers, the Men’s and Women’s Choirs, the Symphony Orchestra, the Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Band, the Wildcat Marching Band, and two nationally renowned Jazz Ensembles.

UK prides itself in educating not only superior teachers but superior teachers/musicians as well. Currently, approximately 50% of the undergraduate music majors at UK are music education majors.

Master of Music in Music Education Degree

This degree will now be possible to complete in three summers if internet courses are included. See this page for more information.

Master of Music in Music Therapy Degree

This degree program consists of two options: a traditional master's program for students with undergraduate degrees in music therapy, and a combined equivalency-master's option for students with degrees in related fields who wish to pursue music therapy. Students who participate in the combined equivalency-master's program will take all the necessary perquisite coursework to enable them to sit for the board certification exam prior to completion of the master's degree itself. Click here for information about the music therapy program at UK

Expanded Professional Development Workshops

The UK School of Music currently offers summer programs in both Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze pedagogy.

For further information, contact Dr. Martina Vasil.