Music Education

The Music Education program at NIU brings together your artistic passions with your desire to share your knowledge and skills with others in a variety of music education contexts. We provide a strong foundation in music theory and history, aural skills, applied study, conducting and opportunities to perform in traditional, world music and jazz ensembles.

Music Education majors will be placed in the Instrumental or vocal track and shared requirements include the music major core, music teaching methods and coursework in the College of Education. Instrumental Music Ed majors also take five instrument-techniques courses, while Vocal Music Ed majors take Vocal Diction.

You will also receive a comprehensive music education including elementary, middle and high school music teaching methods and courses in the College of Education. You'll earn over 100 hours of in-school clinical experiences prior to student teaching.

Students who complete the major/all licensure requirements qualify for a license in K-12 Music upon graduation. 

We offer:

  • Dedicated faculty.
  • Diverse in-school clinical experiences.
  • Comprehensive music education.
  • Mentors in the field.
  • Excellent job placement.

Connections with Students

In-school clinical experiences at the elementary, middle and high school levels provide students a direct application of knowledge and skills gained on campus in coursework; a semester-long student teaching experience serves as the capstone to the program. Opportunities to work closely with K-12 students in band, choir, orchestra and general music classrooms allow our students to make connections with learners and to develop their knowledge and skills through active learning experiences.

Connections with Faculty

NIU promotes strong faculty engagement, and there are many opportunities for students to partner with Music Education faculty to teach in the community, assist with research, or prepare presentations at professional conferences. Music Ed faculty members have achieved professional recognition in their respective disciplines, and regularly conduct, publish, perform and guest lecture in our areas of expertise. We mentor student-led initiatives as well as supervise activities connected with the program.

Connections with the Field

We maintain strong connections with our many alumni who are teaching throughout the region, the country and the world. We encourage our students to develop their professional networks and to foster relationships with active professionals who passionately devote to what they do. We want to show students the breadth and depth of the field of Music Education and encourage our students to extend their learning by teaching with the Community School of the Arts, University Village, Fox Valley El Sistema, and other community organizations.

Contact Us

Mary Lynn Doherty, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Music Education
mdoherty@niu.edu

Lynne Retherford
Coordinator of Educator Licensure
lretherford@niu.edu