2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Apr 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog

Music Education Preparation, MS

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Speranza Migliore, Graduate Admissions Recruiter, School of Education, 111 Waverly Avenue, Suite 230, 315-443-2505, e-gradrcrt@syr.edu


The Music Education Program at Syracuse University is consistent in its mission to provide an environment of excellence where students can develop the understanding and skills necessary to become competent, independent teachers of music. Our program provides students with opportunities to nurture and develop optimal teaching competencies and artistry and musicianship, as well as philosophical, theoretical, and historical perspectives of music and music education through research and reflective practice.

The School of Education, in cooperation with the Setnor School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, offers a preparation program leading to the M.S. degree in music education.  The preparation program is designed for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in music (i.e., with a major field in music) from a program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and seek certification to teach music at all grade levels. The program prepares students to become music educators proficient in five areas:

  • critical reflection and explanation of practice
  • content knowledge
  • inclusive and culturally responsive pedagogy
  • assessment of student learning and
  • professional conduct and collaboration.

This degree program provides meaningful opportunities for professional enhancement through comprehensive practice experiences in the field, exposure to current instructional technology with applications to music education, thoughtful examination of music research, and encouragement of continuing personal artistic growth. By providing knowledge and understanding of inclusive and diverse environments, and striving to promote a developed awareness of individual needs and social justice, we prepare our graduates to enter the field as music educators capable of creating learning environments that ensure successful outcomes for all students.

Program Features:

  • Prepares students for New York State (NYS) initial certification as music teachers at all grade levels as they earn master’s degrees within one and one-half to two years;
  • A 47-credit minimum program designed for full-time study, that exposes students to cutting-edge ideas in education in courses taught by faculty specialists, and offers students opportunities to expand content knowledge and develop artistic abilities through graduate music courses and performance events;
  • Special emphases on these areas: serving diverse student populations, using latest technologies to promote active learning; developing skills in assessing student learning; and developing a knowledge of music for effective teaching and performance;
  • Five field placements, allowing each candidate to learn from experiences in urban, rural, and suburban school settings, from contact with a variety of teaching professionals, and by working with students of diverse backgrounds and abilities;
  • Professional development opportunities through shared experiences in  core courses with a cohort of music education students as well as students from other secondary programs;
  • Participation in the Music Educators Academy, whose weekly meetings bring candidates together with area teachers, educational professionals, and SU faculty and staff to share professional development opportunities and;
  • A music education faculty whose location in the Setnor School of Music affords opportunities for formal and informal interactions, and for continued study with accomplished musicians from diverse fields of music.

Student Learning Outcomes

Music Research (Graduate Sequence):

a. conduct research studies and utilize findings in fields of artistic or pedagogical practice.

Harmony and Analysis (Graduate Sequence):

a. identify/describe advanced elements and organizational patterns of music and their aural and verbal analysis.

b. identify/describe advanced musical forms, processes, and structures.

Comprehensive Exam/Thesis/Lecture Recital (Graduate Sequence):

a. create and present a culminating demonstration integrating research and practice.

Observation of Best Teaching Practices Student Learning Outcome:

a. evaluate best teaching practices when observing teacher-student interactions within a music class/rehearsal with a diverse population of students.

Theoretical and Pedagogical Knowledge Student Learning Outcome:

a. demonstrate knowledge of best teaching practices when designing and implementing learning segments with lesson plans that purposefully address student learning assessments within diverse populations of students.

Professional Teaching Readiness Student Learning Outcome:

a. demonstrate professional teaching readiness at both elementary and secondary levels.


The M.S. Teacher Preparation Program of study includes the following:

Additional Degree Requirements

A Master’s degree exam or other culminating project is required to earn the degree.

Total Minimum Credits: 47

Degree Awarded: M.S. (Master of Science)

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