Earning a master’s degree in education for teaching music may be a good option for individuals interested in sharing their knowledge and passion for music with younger generations of students. Students in a master’s degree program in music education are likely to spend a great deal of time learning music and educational theory.
Not many people have the ability to learn and master musical instruments. Fewer still have the desire and capability to share their gift with students who are eager to pick up an instrument. Individuals who are intimately familiar with a particular type of music and are filled with a passion to help others discover similar capabilities may be well-suited to pursue a master’s degree in teaching music.
There are a variety of educational paths that may be well-suited for those who wish to become music teachers. Whether students wish to specialize in music education, private instruction or music therapy, there are many degree options that may be ideal for learners of all sorts.
Music Education Master’s Degree Curriculum
Depending on the type of degree you wish to pursue, courses will differ. Students who want to pursue a career as a private tutor or instructor that specializes in one particular instrument may take classes pertaining to the type of music they're most familiar with. This could include guitar, piano, cello or violin. These courses may further familiarize students with the instrument, how to play it and how to excel in conducting or composition.
Individuals who are interested in teaching, whether by private instruction or through an institution, may choose to earn a degree in music education or teaching. Along these degree paths, students are likely to be introduced to classes that show people how to teach music to interested learners. Students might specialize in teaching grade-school students, or they can opt for courses that would allow them to pursue careers teaching learners in a collegiate environment. Individuals opting for an educational emphasis may take classes pertaining to childhood development or psychology, as these classes are designed to help prepare individuals to work with younger students.
Music Teacher Salary Potential and Job Outlook
Music teachers work in a variety of settings, from colleges to private homes to nonprofit organizations. Those who wish to pursue careers with elementary, middle or high school students may be well-suited for a career as a music education teacher. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, middle school teachers had a median annual salary of $53,4301 in 2012, while high school teachers earned a median salary of $55,050. 2
Those looking to pursue careers in the collegiate environment may earn higher salaries, especially if they work at an institution that specializes in music education or music business. As of May 2013, the BLS estimated the median annual salary for college music professors was $72,630.3 Often, these instructors have flexible schedules, which permit them to tutor individuals in their spare time for additional funds.
Is Earning a Master’s Degree in Teaching Music Right for You?
The music industry has undergone a measurable shift over the past decade, as digital streaming and cloud technology made their way to the public forum. Teaching practices in the industry have reflected such changes, so those who wish to teach music must make an effort to remain well-versed with the industry and its practices. These individuals must also be willing and able to convey information to students, ensuring their pupils are ahead of the times as well.