Music Education

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 elementary and 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 a broad overview of the Dalcroze, Kodaly, and Orff-Schulwerk approach as well as instruction in Modern Band. Vocal/general majors are required to take two courses in general music and instrumental majors are required to take just one, with the second course optional as an elective. 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, elementary education students from the College of Education, and graduate music therapy students. 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.  Related to the development of musicianship for all music education majors is the experience of playing in outstanding performing organizations.  See our many ensembles for performance opportunities.

Certificates in Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Eurhythmics are available to graduate students through our Music Education Summer Training Program!

Degrees

Music Education majors may choose between a vocal/elementary general music track or an instrumental (band/orchestra) track. See the School of Music Admissions & Auditions page for more information about applying to be a music major or graduate student.

Bachelor of Music in Music Education

The major in music education is the joint concern of the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. Admission to the program is granted only after the successful completion of an audition in the student's performance area. In addition to completing the required courses, the student must present a half-recital or the equivalent on the major instrument or in voice during or after the sixth semester of study.

Except for a series of three professional education courses, all classes are taught by music professors. The Music Education program at the University of Kentucky is an integrated P–12 initial preparation program. Although music education students may specialize in a given area such as vocal/general or instrumental, all students are certified to teach P–12 music in the state of Kentucky. 

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.

For complete information about entrance and course requirements, please see the current UK Bulletin. The requirements below have been condensed for brevity and presented for your convenience.

UK Core Requirements (30 credit hours)

Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement 

  • EPE 301 Education in American Culture (3 credit hours)

Professional Education Requirements

  • EDP 202 Human Development and Learning (3 credit hours)
  • EDP 203 Teaching Exceptional Learners in Regular Classrooms (3 credit hours)
  • EPE 301 Education in American Culture (3 credit hours)
  • EDC 377 Student Teaching in Music (12 credit hours)
  • Computer Competency: MUS 317 or EDC 317 or equivalent (0-1 credit hours)

Professional Subtotal: 21-22 credit hours

General Music Requirements

  • Recital Attendance: (four courses – 0 credit hours)
  • Music Theory: MUS 170, 171, 172, 173, 270, 271, 272, 273, 371, 372 (20 credit hours)
  • Music History: MUS 203, 302, 303 (9 credit hours)
  • Performance: MUP course in chosen major performance area (12 credit hours)
  • Senior Recital (MUP 440): the successful completion of one half a solo recital must be completed for graduation. 
  • Ensembles (one of which must be a chamber music ensemble) (6 credit hours)
  • Electives (6 credit hours)

General Subtotal: 53 credit hours

Major Performance Area Requirements

All music majors must pass a piano proficiency examination and should schedule, in consultation with their advisor, a suitable course each semester until this requirement is completed. Students with little or no prior piano study should normally expect to complete the piano proficiency examination by the end of four semesters of study. Music Education majors should pass the piano proficiency examination at least two semesters before student teaching.

Depending on the area of interest, the student must select one of the major performance areas below: 

Vocal

  • Diction: MUS 120 (two semesters) (2 credit hours)
  • Piano proficiency (0-4 credit hours)
  • Music Education: MUS 260, 262, 264, 361, 362 (15 credit hours)
  • Secondary Instruments (3 credit hours)
    • Choose three of the following: MUC 157​​​​​​​, MUC 158​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, MUC 161​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, MUC 163

Vocal Subtotal: 20-24 credit hours

Keyboard

A voice proficiency test must be passed prior to student teaching.

  • Piano proficiency (0-4 credit hours)
  • Minor Performance: MUP 102, 202 (3 credit hours)
  • Pedagogy and Literature (3 credit hours)
  • Select one of the following: MUS 522, MUS 523, MUS 566
  • Music Education: MUS 260, 262, 264, 361, 362 (15 credit hours)
  • Secondary Instruments (3 credit hours)
    • Choose three of the following:​​​​​​​ MUC 157, MUC 158​​​​​​​, MUC 161​​​​​​​, MUC 163

Keyboard Subtotal: 24 credit hours

Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, Percussion

  • Piano proficiency (0-4 credit hours)
  • Secondary Instruments Brass, Woodwind and String
  • Choose 5 credit hours from:​​​​​​​ MUC 158​​​​​​​, MUC 161​​​​​​, MUC 163
  • Plus 1 credit hour MUC 157

Percussion (6 credit hours)

  • Take two hours each of: MUC 158, MUC 161, MUC 163
  • Music Education: MUS 260, 263, 265, 363, 365 (15 credit hours)

 

Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, Percussion Subtotal: 21-25 credit hours

Total: 125-131 credit hours

Master of Music in Music Education

Delivered via: Internet, Practicum, Onsite Instruction

The School of Music offers courses leading towards the Master of Music Degree concentrating in Music Education. Requirements of 30 hours may be completed via Internet courses and summer offerings onsite. Students desiring concentration in Orff Schulwerk must spend at least two weeks on the UK Campus for three summers. Internet courses and other on-site courses are offered during regular semesters as well. Some courses require a few meetings. Many teachers keep their school jobs while completing this degree; however, careful course planning is crucial in order to enroll in specific courses during summers.

Certificates in Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Eurhythmics are available through our Music Education Summer Training Program!

Those interested in more details should contact either Dr. Martina Vasil (martina.vasil@uky.edu) or Dr. David Sogin (sogin@uky.edu).

PhD in Music Education

UK subscribes to the philosophy that training in music education should be as practical and hands-on as possible. 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 music education students may also specialize in the teaching of general music with a Graduate Certificate in Orff Schulwerk and/or Dalcroze Eurythmics. 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 rich environment of successful school programs in Lexington/Fayette County and surrounding counties provide students with a wealth of opportunities for observations, work, and study throughout their graduate career.

Doctor of Music Education (Ph.D.)

Application Requirements
CV Upload Required
Personal Statement Upload Required
Portfolio Upload Required
3 Letters of Recommendation
Spring App Deadline: November 30
Summer App Deadline: November 30
Fall App Deadline: April 3

Program requirements may change at any time. Contact the DGS of your intended program to confirm requirements.

Teacher Education Program

What is TEP?

All applicants for teacher preparation programs complete a standard application process and are assessed through a rigorous interview procedure with a specific program admissions committee. Admittance to TEP gives you access to:

  • 300-level courses
  • Student teaching
  • Graduating with a degree in Music Education

Freshman Year Checklist

  • Take and pass all sections of the Praxis Core (combined test).
  • Maintain a 2.75 GPA
  • Plan to enroll in MUS 262 or MUS 263, and EDP 202 for your sophomore year. You may consider enrolling in MUS 260 as well if you are interested in teaching elementary music. Otherwise you can complete your junior year and stay on track.
  • Email the following to Christopher Reese (christopher.reese@uky.edu) to set up your account in the UK Ed Prep Application:
    • First and Last Name
    • Date of Birth
    • Link Blue ID
    • Student Number
  • Get a head start on applying to TEP by completing components of the UK Ed Prep Application and the Music Education Portfolio linked in the Sophomore section.

Sophomore Year Checklist

  • Complete EDP 202 and either MUS 262 or MUS 263 with a C or better. Completing MUS 260 your sophomore year is recommended if you are interested in teaching elementary music. Otherwise you can complete your junior year and stay on track.
  • Complete 45 credit hours
  • Apply to TEP in January/February by submitting two applications:
  • Complete the TEP interview. Dr. Vasil will schedule this after your applications are in.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my GPA falls below 2.75?
You will not be in the TEP anymore. You will have to raise your GPA and apply again.

What if I don’t pass one section of the PRAXIS core?
You can retake JUST that section. 

What happens if I don’t have passing PRAXIS core scores by January of my sophomore year?
You cannot apply. You need to have passing PRAXIS core scores in hand before applying to TEP. You would have to apply for TEP in the fall of your junior year, which places you in danger of falling behind schedule for your degree completion. 

What happens if I don’t pass the interview?
You would interview again during the next TEP cycle. There are two times to apply for TEP each year, in the Fall and the Spring.

Learn More About the Teacher Education Program at UK

Music Education Faculty

Associate Director of the School of Music, Professor
Music Education, Associate Director of Choirs
101 Wessells House
859-257-8202
Part-Time Instructor
Music Education
Office N/A
859-494-1826
Part-Time Instructor
Music Education
Office N/A
Associate Professor
Music Education
147 Fine Arts
859-218-1476
Instructor
Office N/A
Professor
Music Education
202 Wessells House
859-257-1038
Associate Professor
Division Coordinator for Music Education and Music Therapy, Director of Music Education Programs
203 Wessell’s House
859-257-8203
Lecturer
Choral Music, Choristers
Wessel's House
859-257-4900
Lucille Caudill Little Associate Professor and Chair of Music Therapy
Associate Professor
319 Rose Lane, Office 203
859-218-0997