Music Education

Music education is at the core of what it means to educate a child. The goal of Music Education in the PK-12 setting is to develop the musicality of each child: the ability of each child to perceive, process and manipulate music on a personal level. Sequential reasoning skills, temporal/spatial differentiation, and creative problem-solving applications, as well as aesthetic and trans-cultural awareness and positive socialization development are among some of the results which make an appropriate Music Education an essential, fundamental element of the education of every child. Music Education students at VCU are part of an exciting and innovative program designed to guide that musical growth in children.

As students in the Department of Music of the internationally recognized School of the Arts, Music Education majors thrive in an atmosphere of creativity, exceptional musical achievement, and hands-on Music Education methodology and directed field-experiences. Music Education majors at VCU are challenged to demonstrate both excellence through their own personal musicianship as well as superior skills as a preprofessional Music Educator: understanding how music is learned in order to understand how to teach. The VCU Music Education faculty is committed to providing a model of individualized, focused attention to each Music Education major resulting in lasting, positive relationships which continue as each student moves into this stimulating and vital profession.

Successful completion of the Bachelor of Music in Music Education program at VCU leads to Collegiate Teaching Certification by the Commonwealth of Virginia for PK-12 Music Education with either a Choral or Instrumental endorsement. To achieve this, the degree is designed so that each student moves through a prescribed, sequential program of artistic, intellectual, and pedagogical skill development and growth. Appropriate differentiated coursework is designed to support specific demands of either endorsement.

Students who complete the undergraduate curriculum for Music Education receive a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Music Education (with a concentration in choral or instrumental).


Selection and preparation in music education at VCU is based upon an important yet extremely simple premise that every person involved as a learner should have the best instruction possible. This premise implies that every prospective teacher should be committed to the subject of music and its use with people.

VCU is dedicated to developing the most effective teachers for tomorrow’s music classroom. The curriculum is structured to develop personal competencies in music performance, improvisation, conducting, composing, arranging, analysis, history, repertoire and other musical skills. Additionally, students are exposed to teaching techniques and current structures, systems and practices through field experiences of various grade levels — preschool through secondary levels — and student teaching internships.


Music Education majors will find that the department maintains a close partnership with Virginia school districts and has consistently maintained a 100 percent placement rate for students pursuing public school teaching positions.

Student organizations

VCU Music also has the largest collegiate chapter of MENC: The National Association for Music Education in the state. The CMENC chapter provides a forum for future music educators, sponsors numerous service and outreach opportunities and is a significant part of the total pre-professional music education program at VCU.

Our graduates

The Music Education program at VCU Music has a reputation of producing outstanding practitioners and leaders in the profession. Graduates include Daryl Kinney, Ph.D., music education faculty member at Ohio State University; Sherri Matthews, president-elect of the Virginia Choral Directors Association and Henrico County Music Educator of the Year for 2006; Paul Bakeman, nationally recognized leader in Orff-Schulwerk; and Tiffany Hudson, recently appointed to VMEA’s Future Leaders program.

Interested in auditioning? Please view the audition tips.