MM Online Courses

Students complete at least 8 courses and at least 32 credit hours: 12 credits of music education, 4 credits of music theory, and 16 credits of approved electives. Courses run in seven-week intensives where students take one course at a time. Students typically complete two courses per semester and can complete the program in 18-24 months.

Some online MM in Music Education degree students take advantage of our summer session, completing course work on campus, while enjoying Boston’s cultural offerings and summer sea breezes. Residence hall accommodations are usually available. More information including session dates, optional on-campus residence hall availability, financial aid, and tuition rates is communicated to students during the academic year.

Click on a course name below to read the description.

Music Education Core Courses

(8 credits required, choose two courses*)

ME740 (4 credits)

In this course, students become acquainted with a variety of research that informs music education, learn both to critique and apply that research, and develop their scholarly writing skills.

ME741 (4 credits)

The purpose of this course is to examine and discuss historical and contemporary philosophical ideas and problems in music and music education. A goal is for students to develop a sharpened sensitivity to past and present thought (primarily, but not limited to historical and philosophical thought) in the field of music education in order to better inform their own curricular and instructional choices.

ME742 (4 credits)

The purpose of this course is to critically examine psychological and sociological concepts as they relate to music and education. Topics include key issues and concepts in psychology and sociology; psychology as related to music education processes; problems encountered in the sociology of music education; and cultural influences that affect both the psychology of the individual and the sociological aspects of group dynamics.

*Third course could be used as an approved elective.


Music Education Capstone Course

(4 credits, 1 course required)

ME759 (4 credits)

This 14 week course is the final class required in the Master of Music in Music Education degree program. Students focus on the development of a site-specific music curriculum, including the philosophical, psychological, and sociological foundations for that curriculum as well as the prospective implementation and assessment of the project. Because the nature of the project is to bring together elements from all previous coursework, it is graded as the Comprehensive Examination for the degree program.


Music Theory

(4 credits, 1 course required*)

MT400 (2 credits)

Review of fundamental music theory and analysis through the study of chord grammar, voice-leading principles, figured bass, four-part chorale harmonizations and form. Materials are approached through listening, writing and analytical work. Credits from this review course will not apply toward degree completion.

* Enrollment in MT400 is determined by results from the music theory proficiency exam. It is a 2 credit prerequisite music theory course and is not eligible for Stafford Direct Student Loans. If a student is required to take this course, it will bring them to 34 total credits.

MT600 (4 credits)

Investigations (systemic and empirical) into formal and compositional procedures of selected masterworks from the tonal repertoire. Lectures lead to individual analytical projects.

*pre-requisite is MT400 or pass Music Theory Proficiency Exam


Approved Electives

(16 credits, choose 4 courses)

AR670 (4 credits)

This course is intended to address policy issues and advocacy strategies for leaders in the arts. Local, State and National Arts Education policies and advocacy programs will be addressed. Students will research agencies, partners and other organizations beyond the schools that serve as sources for advocacy and often influence policy. Students in this course should develop the knowledge and expertise in understanding needs for change and developing plans for advocacy.

ME541 (4 credits)

The course will include activities designed to introduce students to significant technologies that can support music teaching and learning. These technologies will include music sequencing/production, recording, audio and MIDI editing, computer-based notation, graphic-based web authoring, social media for music distribution, and computer-assisted instruction software. The majority of learning activities will begin with a teacher demonstration of a set of skills in music software. Each demonstration will be followed by an assignment designed for students to practice those skills and demonstrate mastery of techniques. Successful completion of ME541 will qualify students for Level 1 certification through TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Educators). Information will be provided at the end of the course for students to earn this credential for their professional profile.

ME542 (4 credits)

This course serves to expand the knowledge that many teachers have about uses of technology for teaching music. Students explore music technology pedagogy; that is, the practice of teaching music in a technologically enhanced environment and the special kinds of teaching skills required to do so effectively. Students examine theoretical foundations of the uses of technology for music teaching, including theories of student interaction with technology, multimedia principles, and technology-infused music curricula. Students will design a technology based curricular unit of music study and implement that unit in a real-world scenario such as their own classroom or studio.

ME543 (4 credits)

ME543 will focus on skill development with notation software. Students will develop advanced skills with techniques in notation software including multi-voice staves, part creation, custom styles, and page formatting. No prior experience with Sibelius or other notation software is expected. Students will be required to have access to their own installation of the latest version of Sibelius.

ME545 (4 credits)

This course is designed to expand awareness of the intersections between music, education, and society as they relate to issues of power, privilege, and marginalization within US, educational, and global contexts. Students will participate in group discussions, individual reflection, and student-designed projects to increase awareness of their own biases and assumptions and deepen reflective practice in music making and teaching. Upon completion of the course, students should be better prepared to engage in acts of social justice, transform structural biases, build coalitions to effect change, and advocate for marginalized students in their own care.

ME548 (4 credits)

To model real-world arts-integration implementation, students will engage in team-based learning and project development between arts and non-arts subjects, and/or between the arts disciplines. Collaborative projects will be informed by the histories, theories, philosophies, approaches, and exemplars of arts integration programs in North America.

ME751 (4 credits)

Drawing upon the social, cultural, political, and economic milieu including movements in music education, music therapy and ethnomusicology, this course first examines reasons for the growth and development of community music. Students will be asked to trace an aspect of community music that may be considered as part of its heritage and also to evaluate and critique a contemporary community music project through fieldwork. Students will then be in a position to articulate their own vision for community music both as a practicum and as a scholarly pursuit.

ME753 (4 credits)

This course will provide an overview of early childhood development and education.  Students will then investigate the musical development of very young children, and explore the components of research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music education.  Special attention will be paid to the role of play in childhood and designing and implementing play-based musical experiences.

ME840 (4 credits)

Study of current issues influencing the state of music education in schools. Focus on the interpretation, implementation, and development of policy. Topics include public policy, politics, advocacy, diversity, evaluation, and curriculum.

MH750 (4 credits)

This course will work toward a 21st-century aesthetic of musicking. Expanding on Christopher Small’s reevaluation of performing and listening, students will investigate what it means for individuals and collectives “to musick” in the 21st century through notions of sound, (dis)place(ment), disability, ecology, media, ethnocentrism, morality, empathy, and provocation. After conceptualizing these frameworks, students will apply them to their communities to ground this understanding in the diverse worlds in which they live, teach, and work.

MH835 (4 credits)

Overview of early music in the colonies. Various attempts to create an individual “American” musical style. Diversity of influences: European, African-American, Indian, Spanish-Mexican, religious, jazz, folk song, minstrel, etc. Music of Billings, Lowell, Mason, Gottschalk, MacDowell, Ives, Gershwin, Copland, and others.

MH837 (4 credits)

Examination of the blues in its musical and cultural dimensions. Focuses on defining the blues as a place where cultures and styles meet. Chord structure, cultural background, characteristics, major themes, different regional styles and dialects, and its place in history will be examined along with the cultural idea of “crossroads.”

MH862 (4 credits)

This course explores a selection of musics from sub-Saharan Africa in ethnographic context, with a particular focus on their practical application in the Western classroom or ensemble. This course is an intensive introduction to vastly diverse and contradictory music from a variety of African cultures. Rather than attempting a cursory regional overview, we will be exploring specific musics thematically. The course aims to provide you with a sense of the intensity of African musical creativity, its global ubiquitous influence, and an appreciation of how important music is to individual lived experiences.

Students will find a variety of source material throughout this course. It includes scholarly writing, online sources, videos, sound recordings, musical exercises, journalistic material, as well as material drawn from the personal experiences of the instructor. Additional resources on African music and culture are included in the bibliography. Students are always encouraged to research additional material in this vast subject area. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have gained the knowledge and skill required to bring African music into their own classroom or ensemble.

MT630 (4 credits)

Contemporary orchestral techniques, focusing on scoring for modern winds, brass, strings and mixed ensembles, including full orchestra. Concepts include chord spacing, melodic projection, layering and delineation of material, and extended instrumental techniques. Materials are approached through readings, listening, writing and analytical work.

*pre-requisite is MT 600, Analytical Techniques.

MT781 (4 credits)

Analysis of combo, vocal and jazz ensemble literature from a variety of grade levels. Development of arranging and composing skills in the jazz idiom. Overview of score study, rehearsal, and programming topics pertaining to jazz ensemble development and leadership. Individual analytical and arranging projects.

*pre-requisite is MT 600, Analytical Techniques.

TA801 (4 credits)

Students will explore and critically engage with materials and approaches in the principal areas of present-day church musicians including: theology of music ministry, resources, choral and vocal techniques, conducting, the organ and other instruments, alternative and contemporary worship, and professional concerns. They will deepen their understanding and integration of the multi-faceted skills inherent in the practice of music ministry. This course is offered through BU’s School of Theology.

Total Coursework: 32-34 credits*