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 a soloist or an 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.
Armstrong's 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 our 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. Music education students enjoy ample opportunity to regularly perform alongside performance majors in ensemble concerts and chamber recitals in our beautifully renovated Fine Arts 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 (e.g., 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.
Employment for music educators is available widely throughout Chatham County and in rapidly growing school systems in adjacent Bryan, Liberty and Effingham counties, as well as in nearby 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. Median salaries are in the $50,000-$60,000 range.
In our degree program, small classes, individual private instruction, outstanding ensembles and dedicated music educators promote numerous opportunities for learning. The Armstrong student chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), coupled with opportunities for volunteer work in public and private schools, provide important experience in music education activities.
Our active NAfME chapter creates the initial network for many students to interact, form friendships with 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 NAfME, Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) and Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA). Armstrong hosts 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.
Each 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.
Music Program's Basic Formula for Calculating Credit Hours for Ensembles and Lecture/Lab Classes
Music Ensembles are considered lab courses and credit is awarded as follows:
Small ensembles earn one semester hour credit and requires 1500 minutes of lab time. Small ensembles meet 50 minutes twice a week for 15 weeks.
Large ensembles earn one semester hour credit and requires 2250 minutes of lab time. Large ensembles meet 50 minutes three times a week for 15 weeks.
Lecture/Lab Classes are awarded one semester hour credit for two hours of contact. They include keyboard classes, aural skills classes, class voice, class piano, and selected methods classes.