Music Education

Students with brass instruments

Introduction to Music Education

The Music Education Program at Shorter University has a long history of training excellent teachers of music. In fact, some of the finest public school music teachers in the Southeast proudly claim Shorter as their alma mater.

But what can YOU do with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree? Graduates of our BMME program are well trained to pass the state certification test and apply for music teaching positions. But that’s not all. With this degree from Shorter University, you will also have the skills to pursue graduate work in music performance, music therapy, or music academics (theory, history, or composition).

And in addition to jobs in music teaching, you will also be in position to apply for jobs in arts management, music business, private teaching, and many others. This degree not only prepares you musically and professionally for jobs in music and teaching, but you develop in the areas of creativity, self-motivation, self-discipline, skills which will help you be successful in whatever you choose to do.

The BMME degree at Shorter University is the perfect choice for any one who wants to develop their music potential and stay as flexible as possible regarding future career choices. The music education programs keeps many job possibilities open, without closing any options. At Shorter University, music education majors receive the same intensive training, from the same professors, as performance majors. Because of the winning combination of excellent musical training and job flexibility, the music education major should be considered the degree of choice for most music students.

Shorter’s Music Education Program not only has a long history, but also a long tradition of excellence. A degree from Shorter University carries value to school administrators who have come to associate our college with outstanding teachers. For that reason, our job placement rate for our graduates who decide to pursue a public school teaching job is nearly 100%.

The strength of the music education program is due to several factors, including:

– a very strong faculty, including those with outstanding public school teaching experience

– the small class size, and the close working relationship between Shorter students and faculty

– a carefully designed curriculum that balances liberal arts core courses with a rigorous professional training in music and teaching techniques

– an emphasis on the observation of master teachers (both on and off campus) and practical hands-on teaching experience both prior to and during student teaching

At Shorter University, we believe that strong music teachers must first be strong musicians. All music education students take applied music lessons from artist level professors who take a keen interest in the professional development of their students while maintaining their own active performing careers. Our applied faculty become mentors to our students – guiding, challenging, encouraging, and leading students to achieve their highest musical potential.

Description of Bachelor of Music Education

The Bachelor of Music in Music Education is a four year degree with a total of 133 semester hours that leads to a Georgia Certificate in teaching music for Preschool through Grade 12. Although the GA Music Certificate allows one to teach all music areas, the program at Shorter University is specifically designed to prepare excellent teachers of choral and general music. This focus enables our graduates to refine their music and teaching skills for leading elementary school general music and for directing middle and high school choral music.

The curriculum combines common academic (core ) courses with rigorous music study. The music courses include:

  • applied study in voice, piano, organ, or instrumental
  • secondary study in voice or piano
  • ensemble participation
  • music academic study

There are also important courses in education principles, including how to organize, plan, lead, and evaluate music instruction. One of the highlights of the music education program is the inclusion of field experience that include observation and hands-on work in public school music classes prior to student teaching. Because of these practica, our music students are already experienced teachers when they begin their student teaching semester. We maintain good relationships with the best public school teachers in the area and are proud to place our student teachers in these excellent programs.

For more information, contact:

Patty Nelson

Dr. Patty Nelson

Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Music Education

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