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Music teacher with violin student

Bachelor's Degree in Music Education (P-12 Certification)

Music is your passion and it’s one you want to pass on to future generations. Through University of the Cumberlands' bachelor’s in music education degree program, you'll learn musical concepts, refine your musical skills, and become a positive advocate for the musical arts. Once completed, your music education degree will help you qualify to teach music in grades P-12.


What is a Music Education Degree?

A music education degree helps educators gain the skills they need to integrate choral and instrumental music into the curriculum and lives of students of every age group—preschool through high school. Throughout their college degree program, they’ll cover music theory, music history, vocal instruction for individuals and choirs, orchestral instruction for different types of instruments—brass, woodwind, percussion, string—and much more. In addition to the technical aspects of the music craft, aspiring music teachers will gain a comprehensive education in planning lessons, evaluating student progress, managing classrooms, and more.

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What Can You Do with a Music Education Major?

When you complete your music teacher degree program with P-12 certification, you’ll have the necessary skills to begin teaching music in primary schools or secondary schools. Use your music education major to pursue job opportunities in high schools, where teachers earned a median average annual salary of $61,820 as of 2030, or in elementary schools where the average annual salary for teachers came in at $61,350 that same year. 

Your music teacher bachelor’s degree also gives you the foundation needed to pursue a graduate degree. You could wind up in the music business as a performer, retailer, or working for a band or recording artist. Potential jobs and career opportunities can include:

  • Band Director
  • Choir Director
  • Elementary, Middle, or High School Music Teacher
  • Performer
  • Composer
  • Church Musician
  • Instrument Repair Technician

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How to Become a Music Teacher

Aspiring music teachers should begin by checking with the certifying board in the state they wish to teach, as each one has slightly different requirements for licensure. But some things are almost universally required.

The first step is to earn a music degree from an accredited institution for higher learning. To teach music in P-12 public school systems, a recognized bachelor’s degree program that explores artistic expression through music and how to teach to varying age groups is a must. These programs will likely have a student teaching obligation for completion, a requirement for certification in most, if not all, states.

From there, these new educators will need to pass a state test and apply for a teaching license. After that, it’s a matter of applying to teaching positions. 

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Why is Music Education Important?

There are a number of reasons why music is essential to our culture and our way of life. Music inspires us. Music elevates and enriches our lives. Music evokes emotions, creating an outlet of expression that is enjoyed by both the listener and the musician. You do not have to sing or play an instrument to appreciate music. Its impact has a far wider reach than that.

Music in education is equally important. It can actually have benefit other areas of study. Music has been shown to help develop language and reasoning faculties, acquire team-building skills, increase coordination, develop spatial intelligence, learn pattern recognition, and even lead to better SAT scores. Music benefits students in other ways, helping in areas of creative thinking, self-confidence, imagination, curiosity, social interactions, and more. Likewise, training education professionals to teach, guide, and develop relevant music curriculum is an investment in our collective futures, a benefit to us all.

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

With a faculty of outstanding music professionals as your guide, you’ll expand your music skills with access to fine facilities, including two lecture rooms, nine studios, a rehearsal hall, 16 practice rooms, and a music education classroom complete with a variety of teaching series and multiple Orff instruments. We also have a 150- seat recital hall, an electronic piano lab, and a computer-assisted instruction laboratory.

In addition to degree requirements, all music majors will need to hold an audition to assess performance skills, keyboard proficiency, and potential scholarship opportunities. Also, as a music major, you will present a recital on your voice or primary instrument during your senior year.

Click here for Music Education Course Details

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to this program, click here to view the undergraduate, on-campus admissions information. 

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, the specialized accrediting bodies related to this degree are listed below. 

KDE/EPSB – State Accreditation
University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is further accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB), 100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. (502) 564-4606. Fax: (502) 564-7080.

CAEP – National Accreditation
The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands (UC) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level.  CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement.  UC’s School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.
CAEP Address: 1140 19th St NW #400, Washington, DC 20036
CAEP Phone Number: (202) 223-0077

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Click here to view a list of the chemistry faculty. 

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Phone:  606.539.4240
Toll-Free:  877.713.8767
Fax:  606.539.4303

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6178 College Station Drive
Williamsburg, KY 40769

CAEP Accreditation


 The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands complies with all CAEP standards across programs at the initial and advanced levels.