While most locales require only a bachelor’s and a state-issued teaching license to be employable in K-12 schools, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that graduate degrees are often a minimal requirement for instructing at the community college level. In addition, it’s a critical stepping stone towards a doctorate degree, which is frequently essential for employment at large university and prestigious private institutions.
If you’ve held off on pursuing additional studies because of career and possible family responsibilities, take heart. Within the last decade, many schools have created online music education programs specifically for working professionals or others who cannot take part in traditional schooling programs. These are tooled to prepare you for teaching in elementary, middle, high and post-secondary schools. In addition, they can also aid you in positioning yourself for instructing opportunities with other organizations.
Your Next Step for Better Opportunities
In the past, most individuals hoping to pursue a master’s degree in music education would study in a traditional classroom and complete teaching practica, usually through internships and similar opportunities. Unfortunately, this often meant that the potential for already working adults to further their studies was often non-existent. Now, many major universities and smaller schools offer their own master’s in music education online. These combine classroom learning with hands-on teaching experience with many also including the completion of a capstone course as part of their curricula.
Typical Admission Requirements
Graduate-level music programs have usually mandated the submission of undergraduate schooling transcripts, letters of recommendation, an audition, scores from standardized tests such as the Graduate Record Examination and a personal essay. Many online programs have similar specifications, but it depends on the schools to which you apply. For graduate studies in music education, you’ll need to have earned either an undergraduate degree in the same field or another type of music degree with evidence of completion of state teaching licensure guidelines. It’s worth noting that some online programs have dropped the standardized testing and audition requirements from their admission guidelines.
Music Educators Will Continue to Be Needed
Public officials with vastly different priorities often fail to see how an integrated, balanced curriculum is essential to helping students transform into well-rounded citizens. Fortunately, advocacy efforts by individuals, educators, legislators and nonprofit organizations continue to push back against the slashing of arts courses from educational budgets. With ongoing need for music teachers, their employment will grow over the next decade. The BLS project a 6 percent increase in jobs for elementary, middle and high school instructors between 2014 and 2024. Furthermore, BLS estimates for college and university teachers are even better, with gains of around 13 percent by 2014.
Additionally, opportunities outside of public or private schools remain for those educated at the master’s level and above. Private tutoring is one path, providing you with self-directed work and entrepreneurship. Additionally, it permits you the ability to teach and mentor learners on an individual basis. Thinking outside the box can also lead you to rewarding work for youth groups, senior centers or privately-run music academies. A willingness to be flexible along with expanding your experience and skillsets will ensure that your possibilities remain open.
A World of Potential
With the perk of teaching a subject area that you love along with the benefits gained by your students, it’s no surprise if you’re considering a career in music education. However, pursuing further studies can be difficult if you’re already a working professional or if you have a family. It needn’t be impossible, thanks to new online study programs in this field. As job prospects continue to appear promising, now is a great time to begin an online master’s degree in music education.