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Bachelor of Music Education
Music education students are musicians who desire to teach other people about music. They demonstrate a commitment to understanding the nature of music and the practices involved in being a performer whether as soloist or ensemble member. They are adaptive, resourceful and must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of music, the nature of the learner and the materials and methods from which they work. The music teacher faces many demands musically, yet the profession is rewarding for those who want to work in the field.
The Bachelor of Music Education degree offers a broad-based curriculum with a strong and relevant content for undergraduates desiring certification as P-12 music teachers in band, choral and elementary music.
The academic components of the degree compel the student to acquire knowledge in music subject areas such as theory, history and literature.
The performance component of the degree prepares the student with acceptable solo and ensemble performance skills on one primary instrument (brass, guitar, percussion, piano, string, voice or woodwinds) and functional piano skills. Armstrong music education students enjoy ample opportunity to regularly perform along side performance majors in ensemble concerts and chamber recitals in beautifully renovated Fine Arts Hall Auditorium.
The music education component provides the student with a well-rounded foundation and experience in the methodology of teaching music in grades P-12 (i.e. elementary and general music methods, conducting).
The primary career of a music educator is teaching band, choral, orchestra, and/or general music at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Our music education graduates have had excellent success finding jobs in various areas of Georgia. The Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education is the largest employer of music educators in the area with more than sixty band, choral, general music and orchestra directors. Employment is also available in rapidly growing school systems in adjacent counties including Bryan, Liberty and Effingham counties in Georgia and across the state border in South Carolina. Additionally, there are many private schools in the area that employ both full and part-time music teachers. Besides these primary career positions, jobs are available with institutions such as day care centers, music camps and churches. Positions in outlying areas are commonly easier to find than in urban areas such as Savannah. Salaries generally begin around $33,000 and go beyond $45,000 for candidates with experience and higher degrees.
In the degree program small classes, individual private instruction, outstanding ensembles and dedicated music educators promote opportunities for learning. The Armstrong State University student chapter of the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference (CMENC) and volunteer work in public and private schools provide important experience in music education activities.
An active student chapter of the Music Educators National Association provides opportunity for students to interact, form friendships with their peers and meet music education leaders on the state and national levels. Armstrong Music Education students develop and nurture career-long personal and professional networks through CMENC, Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), and Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA). Armstrong hoses numerous GMEA and GMTA events annually to facilitate student introduction to these important professional affiliation organizations.
Course of Study
All music education majors complete the following minimum requirements: 22 hours in applied music, functional piano, and solo and ensemble performance (including a graduation recital), 20 hours of music theory and history, four hours of conducting and 19 hours of music education pedagogy. In addition, each student completes one of the following track options: choral, instrumental or general music emphasis. Each track requires additional hours of music, specialty and pedagogical courses. Beyond the music and music education requirements, students must complete a professional education sequence of 14 semester hours of education classes and 13 hours of internships/student teaching.
The student must also be admitted to the formal teacher education program. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 is required for admission and must be maintained to remain in the teacher education program. Before graduation, the student must take the GACE II Exam to complete the requirement for initial teacher certification in music education.