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Music – Education

Degree: BME

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

The music education program prepares outstanding musicians for careers as school music teachers by building a strong musical foundation through private lessons, participation in ensembles, and course work in music theory and history, aural training and more. For the music-teaching specialist, additional classes are offered in conducting, in-depth study of instrumental or vocal teaching methods, selecting repertoire for school ensembles, and preparing for life as a music teacher. The program culminates with a student teaching experience in one of the many excellent music programs in the Columbus area, which offers urban, rural and suburban settings.

After applying to the university, students planning to pursue a music major must complete a separate School of Music application and schedule an audition. Transfer students and students already at Ohio State must also complete these steps before entering the program. Find a step-by-step application guide at

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure and certification and state licensing board contact information at

After completing prerequisite course work and field experiences (typically by the end of their sophomore year), students must apply for professional standing in the music education program.

Core courses:

  • Music Theory
  • Aural Training
  • Music History
  • World Music
  • ensembles
  • applied music
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Conducting
  • Arranging

Required major courses:

  • Introduction to Music Education
  • Introduction to General Music
  • psychology
  • educational philosophy and history
  • Music Education Methods
  • student teaching

The Office of International Affairs offers more than 100 study abroad programs in 40 different countries, Students have the opportunity to take classes through an exchange program or foreign university, complete an independent study or service-learning project, conduct research or participate in an internship program. 

Education abroad allows you to engage in cross-cultural interactions and enjoy a rewarding educational experience in another country — all at the same time. It can expand your worldview, enhance your career prospects and ultimately change your life. Learn more at

Students are encouraged to (and often do) find educational, performance and administrative internship opportunities with local arts organizations such as the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, Opera Columbus and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

The Arts Honors Program is open to students pursuing majors in the arts (Art, Art Education, Dance, Design, Music, Theatre) in the College of Arts and Sciences.  The purpose of the Arts Honors Program is to provide opportunities for students with exceptional capabilities and motivation to achieve personal satisfaction and intellectual growth through honors courses, advanced course work, and special academic enrichment programs.

Students in the Arts Scholars program may have a major in any university college or department. The program offers students the opportunity to participate in programs that enhance their educational experience. These programs include lectures and specialized workshops, group excursions to museums and professional performances, a juried student art exhibition and performance showcase, community involvement, and trips outside of Columbus.

The Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association (OCMEA) is the professional organization associated with music education. The organization is led by an elective body of undergraduate music education students. Regular informative workshops and state conferences contribute to enhanced learning opportunities in the field. Students also have the opportunity to join American String Teachers Association (ASTA), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Music educators have teaching careers available in preschools through high schools, adult learning centers and private studios. Students who wish to teach music education at the college level should teach music in grades K–12 for at least three years. Graduate study in music education is also required for college teaching positions.

Beginning salaries for music teachers vary depending on the school district. High school teachers and some junior high/middle school teachers receive supplementary stipends for extra duties (e.g., marching band and musical theatre productions).

More than resumes, the Center for Career and Professional Success (Career Success) is the center of opportunity and connections for arts and sciences students at The Ohio State University. As early as your first year on campus, our signature programs and events provide you with opportunities to network and learn about career options from alumni and connect with employers to learn about internships and other career opportunities. Leverage resources such as funding for unpaid or minimally paid internships, workshops, digital guides, career coaching and more to prepare for your lifetime of opportunity. For more information, visit

Students majoring in music education will achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Sufficient knowledge and skills to work as leaders and collaborators who solve musical problems
  • Rehearsal and conducting skills appropriate to the particular music concentration
  • The ability to use technologies current to their area of specialization
  • Abilities in aural, verbal, and visual analysis
  • The ability to create accurate and musically expressive performances with various types of ensemble and classroom performing groups
  • Skills in arranging, composition, and improvisation to meet the needs and ability levels of individuals, school performing groups, and classroom situations
  • Functional performance abilities in voice, keyboard, and instruments appropriate to the student’s teaching specialization
  • The ability to apply analytical and historical knowledge to curriculum development, lesson planning, and daily classroom and performance activities
  • The ability to use at least one instrument as a teaching tool
  • The ability to transpose, improvise, or provide basic accompaniments
  • Growth in artistry, technical skills, collaborative competence and knowledge of repertory through regular ensemble participation
  • The ability to communicate musical ideas, concepts and requirements to professionals and lay persons related to the practice of the major field (such communication may involve musical, oral, written and visual media)
    • Students will complete curricular requirements that include courses designed to develop oral and written communication skills.
    • Students will gain knowledge and experience in pedagogical methodologies in their area of specialization.
  • An understanding of the nature of the music field in the professional world, particularly related to organizational structures, work ethics, technological resources and entrepreneurial skills required for advancing their careers
    • Preparation of numerous assignments in music theory and music history courses employing a wide range of software and web-based sources
    • Workplace skills developed through independent studies with music education faculty, applied faculty and ensemble directors
  • Experiences in general studies sufficient to prepare them for a wide range of career options