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Music Education

Offered jointly by the School of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ renowned Setnor School of Music, the dual-degree music education program includes a strong foundation in music and teaching.

As enrolled students engage in teacher preparation, they also elect one of five specialty emphases in music education: brass, choral/general, woodwind, percussion or strings.

All students are educated on musical disciplines, principal and secondary performance areas, music history, music theory, sight-singing, dictation, conducting, and ensemble participation. This combination of knowledge and skill-based experiences provides graduates with increased marketability and a high level of preparedness to work with students of all abilities at all grade levels.

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Core coursework covers teaching and the inclusive classroom, foundations of music education, and music in the elementary and secondary classrooms. Sample courses include:

  • Instrumental or Choral Rehearsal Techniques in Music Education
  • Jazz, World, and Commercial Music Electives
  • Adapting Instruction for Diverse Student Needs
  • Marching Band Techniques
  • Instrumental Method Classes In Teaching Brass, Woodwind, Percussion, and String Instruments
  • Technology in Music Education

View official major requirements .

Practical Experience

The music education major also offers learning opportunities outside the classroom for students as a supplement to their coursework.

  • Join Syracuse University’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education.
  • Attend numerous events in the Setnor School of Music, including master classes, performances, and the Music Education Academy, which brings prominent music education professionals to campus.
  • Teach in a variety of classrooms in urban, suburban, and rural settings.
  • Network with visiting speakers and professionals to both the Setnor School of Music and the School of Education.

Study Abroad

Support your resume and expand your perspective with a study abroad experience during your time at Syracuse. Known as one of the top 25 international education providers in the U.S.,  Syracuse Abroad  offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries.

To make study abroad more affordable, you have the opportunity to apply for a Himan Brown Fellows scholarship, a scholarship exclusively for School of Education Students.

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in music education you can pursue careers including:

  • School Music teacher
  • Studio Vocal or Instrumental Instructor
  • Composer
  • Professional Musician
  • Sound engineer
  • Music program director

Or, earn a graduate degree in areas such as music education, music therapy, performance, music history, ethnomusicology, music composition, music theory, or arts administration. Previous graduates have continued their education at many of the top graduate schools in the U.S.