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Music education

music Education (K-12)

Students enrolled in a professional undergraduate degree in music are expected to develop a range of knowledge, skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to the professional life of a musician which include: technical competence; broad knowledge of music and music literature; the ability to integrate musical knowledge and skills; sensitivity to musical styles; and an insight into the role of music in intellectual and cultural life.

Within the Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree, a student prepares for a teaching career in either vocal or instrumental music or a combination of the two. SXU music education degree programs are certified K-12 by the Illinois State Board of Education. The prospective music teacher will develop skills in musicianship and performance, in addition to learning to be a sensitive ensemble conductor. Students will gain knowledge in teaching music at a variety of levels to different age groups and in different settings, while developing a strong understanding of child growth and development. Learning to assess the progress of music students while acquiring the knowledge of excellent methods of teaching is essential to this program. This program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Program Requirements

For more information, please review the program requirements and course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog.

Learning Outcomes

  • The teacher candidate will demonstrate skills of a competent conductor and create accurate and musically expressive performances with various types of performing groups and in a classroom environment.
  • The teacher candidate will develop skills to arrange and adapt music from a variety of sources to meet the needs and ability levels of individuals, school-performing groups and student classes.
  • The teacher candidate will develop functional performance abilities in keyboard, voice and instruments appropriate to the student's teaching specialization.
  • The teacher candidate will apply analytical and historical knowledge to curriculum development, lesson planning, and daily classroom and performance activities and will identify music styles, literature, multiple cultural sources and historical development, both in general and as related to their area(s) of specialization.
  • The teacher candidate will develop necessary competencies in musicianship; vocal, keyboard and pedagogical skill; knowledge of content; methodologies; philosophies; materials; technologies; and curriculum development.
  • The teacher candidate will translate their skills and knowledge to teach music at various levels to different age groups and in classroom and ensemble settings in ways that develop knowledge of how music works syntactically as a communication medium and developmentally as an agent of civilization. This set of abilities includes effective classroom and rehearsal management.
  • The teacher candidate will measure child growth and development and principles of learning as they relate to music.
  • The teacher candidate will assess aptitudes, experiential backgrounds, orientations of individuals and groups of students, and students will prepare educational programs to meet assessed needs.
  • The teacher candidate will analyze and evaluate current methods, materials and repertories available in various fields of music education appropriate to the teaching specialization.
  • The teacher candidate will develop the ability to accept, amend or reject methods and materials based on personal assessment of specific teaching situations.
  • The teacher candidate will recognize and apply evaluative techniques in assessing both the musical progress of students and the objectives and procedures of the curriculum.

Specialization Competencies

Vocal/Choral Music

  • The vocal/choral teacher candidate will develop sufficient vocal and pedagogical skills to teach the effective use of the voice individually and in groups.
  • The vocal/choral teacher candidate will learn content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies and curriculum development for vocal/choral music.
  • The vocal/choral teacher candidate will develop sufficient performance abilities on at least one instrument as a teaching tool to provide, transpose and improvise accompaniments.
  • The vocal/choral teacher candidate will learn appropriate repertoire through participation in large and small choral ensembles.

Instrumental Music

  • The instrumental teacher candidate will perform on wind, string and percussion instruments to teach beginning students effectively in groups or individually.
  • The instrumental teacher candidate will learn content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies and curriculum development for instrumental music.
  • The instrumental teacher candidate will learn appropriate repertoire through participation in large and small instrumental ensembles.

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education - Instrumental - 132 credit hours
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education - Choral/Vocal - 135 credit hours
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education - Choral/Keyboard - 134 credit hours

120 credit hours are required for Bachelor of Music degree. Students select a Bachelor of Music program in performance with an emphasis in voice, piano, band instruments, or an instrumentalist/jazz emphasis. A sample Instrumental Jazz plan is below. Detailed program information and course options can be found in the academic catalog. Students should use Academic Planning on the mySXU portal to schedule courses and track degree progress.

Suggested four year academic plan for the major (courses required in the major are in bold)

Please consult with your academic advisor prior to course selection.

Semester 1 Credit Hours
TRANS 100: Transitions 1
PHIL 140: The Examined Life 3
ENGL 120: Rhetoric and Writing 3
MUS 101: Music Theory I 3
MUS 151: Aural Skills I 1
MUS 161: Keyboard Skills I 1
Applied Music Course 2
MUS 240: Jazz Ensemble 1
Semester 2 Credit Hours
FYS 175: First Year Seminar 3
COMM 101: Speech Fundamentals 3
MUS 102: Music Theory II 3
MUS 152: Aural Skills II 1
MUS 162: Keyboard Skills II 1
MUS 124: Writing and Speaking about Music 3
Applied Music Course 2
MUS 240: Jazz Ensemble 1
Semester 3 Credit Hours
MUS 201: Music Theory III 3
MUS 251: Aural Skills III 1
MUS 261: Keyboard Skills III 1
Applied Music Course 2
MUS 240: Jazz Ensemble 1
MUS 330: Music History I 3
GE Biological Science 3
Semester 4 Credit Hours
MUS 202: Music Theory IV 3
MUS 252: Aural Skills IV 1
MUS 262: Keyboard Skills IV 1
Applied Music Course 2
MUS 234: University Band 1
MUS 331: Music History II 3
GE Physical Science 3
Semester 5 Credit Hours
Applied Music/Jazz 2
MUS 240: Jazz Ensemble 1
MUS 314: Conducting 3
MUS 217: Non-Western Music 3
MUS 239: Jazz Combo 1
GE Social Science 3
GE Philosophy 3
Semester 6 Credit Hours
Applied Music/Jazz 2
MUS 234: University Band 1
MUS 308: Jazz Theory/Arranging 3
MUSAP 271: Junior Recital 1
MUS 239: Jazz Combo 1
GE Social Science 3
Elective 3
Semester 7 Credit Hours
MUS 301: Form and Analysis 2
Applied Music/Jazz 2
MUS 240: Jazz Ensemble 1
MUS 319: Music Literature-Piano
or
MUS 321: Music Literature-Instrumental
3
MUS 309: Jazz Improvisation 2
MUS 239: Jazz Combo 1
GE Religious Studies 3
Elective 2
Semester 8 Credit Hours
MUS 138: History of Jazz 3
Applied Music/Jazz 2
MUS 240: Jazz Ensemble 1
MUS 239: Jazz Combo 1
MUSAP 371: Senior Recital 1
MUS 312: Vocal Pedagogy
or
MUS 313: Applied Pedagogy-Instrumental
3
Elective 3

Music Education: Choral/Vocal Cougar Map

If you would like to print out the Cougar Map, please view the Music Education: Choral/Vocal Cougar Map (PDF).

Competence

(Major/minor, summer suggestions, academic research)

First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year

Develop initial skills in the study of music theory, aural skills and keyboard skills.

Perfect your knowledge of scales, rhythms and key signatures.

Work with your applied teacher to start preparing for your Formal Admission Jury.

Meet regularly with your advisor.

Prepare audition repertoire and research the types of performers with successful auditions.

Work with your applied teacher to make initial decisions regarding junior recital repertoire.

Refine your overall knowledge in the areas of form and analysis, counterpoint, jazz theory, non-western music, history and style.

Work with your applied teacher to finalize your senior recital repertoire.

Gain experience with industry-specific software like Finale, Sibelius, Pyware, Pro Tools and Garage Band, which are available in the Music Computer Lab.

Compile video and audio recordings of your performances and teaching that best represent you as a professional

Character

(Service, global perspective, study abroad, clubs/RSOs, volunteering))

Consider joining a student club or intramural sports team.

Enroll in Cougars LEAD that supports leadership development and begin working on your leadership certificate.

Join the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Visit the Center for International Education for study abroad opportunities.

Volunteer by performing music or helping a school, church or organization learn about music and the arts.

Take on a leadership role within a student club or organization.

Actively volunteer for National Endowment for the Arts, Music in Our Schools Month, a non-profit group or other similar type of arts-related organization.

Develop a private lesson studio or teach groups of students.

Engage in the vibrant classical, new music and jazz communities unique to the Chicagoland region.

Perform for a nursing home, hospital or other venue to serve as a form of music therapy or enjoyment.

Student teach or begin to grow your private lesson studio.

Career Success

(Career or grad school prep, internships, jobs)

Complete your SXU Handshake profile for student employment with the help of the Center for SUCCESS.

Find areas within the field of music and explore employment options.

Create a LinkedIn profile and make connections within your academic and personal circles.

Continue to build your personal collection of professional music recordings and scores. 

Audition for professional ensembles.

Compile audition repertoire and application materials for graduate school.

Reach out to your mentors for help perfecting your resume, biography and other job-seeking materials. 

Update your LinkedIn or other professional social media accounts.

Visit Center for SUCCESS to create a job search plan, sharpen your resume and practice interviewing.

Become familiar with performers and educators.

 

Music - Instrumental Cougar Map:

If you would like to print out the Cougar Map, please view the Music - Instrumental Cougar Map (PDF).

  First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year

Competence

(Major/minor, summer suggestions, academic research)

Develop initial skills in the study of music theory, aural skills and keyboard skills. Perfect your knowledge of scales, rhythms and key signatures. Work with your applied teacher to start preparing for your Formal Admission Jury. Meet regularly with your Music advisor. Prepare audition repertoire and research the types of performers with successful auditions. Work with your applied teacher to make initial decisions regarding junior recital repertoire. Create transcriptions of improvised solos. Refine your overall knowledge in the areas of form and analysis, counterpoint, jazz theory, non-western music, history and style. Work with your applied teacher to finalize your senior recital repertoire. Gain experience with industry-specific software like Finale, Sibelius, Pyware Pro Tools and Garage Band, which are available in the Music Computer Lab. Compile video and audio recordings of your performances and teaching that best represent you as a professional.

Character

(Service, global perspective, study abroad,clubs/RSOs, volunteering)

Consider joining a student club or intramural sports team. Enroll in Cougars LEAD that supports leadership development and work toward your leadership certificate. Join the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Visit the Center for International Education for study abroad opportunities. Volunteer by performing music or helping a school, church or organization learn about music and the arts. Take on a leadership role within a student club or organization. Actively volunteer for National Endowment for the Arts, Music in Our Schools Month, a non-profit group or other similar type of arts-related organization. Develop a private lesson studio or teach groups of students. Engage in the vibrant classical, new-music and jazz communities unique to the Chicagoland region. Perform for a nursing home, hospital or other venue to serve as a form of music therapy or enjoyment. Student teach or begin to grow your private lesson studio.

Career Success

(Career or grad school prep, internships, jobs)

Complete your SXU Handshake profile for student employment with the help of Center for SUCCESS.

Find areas within the field of music and explore employment options.
Create a LinkedIn profile and establish meaningful connections within your academic and personal circles. Continue to build your personal collection of professional music recordings and scores. Audition for professional ensembles. Compile audition repertoire and application materials for graduate school. Reach out to your mentors for help perfecting your resume, biography and other job-seeking materials. Update your LinkedIn or other professional social media accounts. Visit Center for SUCCESS to create a job search plan, sharpen your resume and practice interviewing. Become familiar with performers and educators.

Career Outlook

The Secondary Education Program prepares individuals to teach students in the secondary grades, which may include grades nine through twelve, depending on the school system or state regulations. Courses may include preparation to teach a comprehensive curriculum or specific subject matter.

To find out more about your major including potential areas and employers, required skills, job outlook, and median pay, please access the Occupational Outlook Handbook or the O*Net websites.

Explore the subsections below to learn more about the potential skills a student with a secondary education major can develop as well as the potential positions, areas, and employers that hire students with this degree. Please note that these are not exhaustive lists and should be used as a starting point.

Skills

As a secondary education major, you will develop an in-depth understanding of your content area. Additionally, students may develop advance skills including communication, patience, creativity, enthusiasm, confidence, dedication, conflict resolution, organization, classroom management, time management, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork.

Positions

Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work as teachers, ELL specialists, textbook salespersons, instructional technologists, direct service and grant writers.

Areas

Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work in teaching, research, sales, administration, literacy development, adult and continuing education and fundraising/development.

Employers

Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work for public, private, magnet, or charter schools, professional associations, test preparation companies, international schools, publishers, museums, zoos, religious organizations, correctional institutions, higher education, nonprofit and park districts.

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