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Doctor of Musical Arts, Music Education Boston University College of Fine Arts


The Boston University Online Doctor in Music Arts in Music Education (MusAD) consists of twelve required online courses. Upon completion of the twelve courses, students spend approximately two years conducting research and writing a doctoral thesis. In addition, students travel to the Boston University campus for a culminating experience near the end of the program.

  • CFA ME 541 Introduction to Music Ed Technology

    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. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 542 Music Technology Pedagogy

    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. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 740 Introduction to Music Education Research

    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. Note: This course is typically waived for DMA students who have enrolled in a similar course during Master's degree study. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 741 Foundations of Music Education I: Philosophy and History

    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. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 742 Foundations of Music Education II: Sociology and Psychology

    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. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 751 Community Music Perspectives

    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. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 753 Principles of Child Development and Early Education

    The purposes of this course are to 1) introduce students to principles of child development that will guide the provision of music education for young children (birth through age 8) and 2) investigate the landscape of early childhood education and the educational theories that underlie current approaches to early childhood education. Particular emphasis will be placed on the application of concepts to music teaching and learning. Learning activities will include instructor lectures, guest lectures, readings, and discussions. Students will also conduct no fewer than two observations in early childhood settings. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 840 Contemporary Issues in Music Education

    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. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 841 Quantitative Research Methods in Music Education

    Quantitative research methods and their application to educational research contexts; quantitative research design, sampling techniques, reliability and validity, descriptive and inferential statistics, quantitative studies in music education, and using software to conduct statistical analysis. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 842 Qualitative Research Methods

    This course introduces graduate students to key issues and concepts in qualitative research. Students develop skills in conducting interviews, and observations; they gain experience with ethnographic and narrative techniques including transcribing, coding, interpreting data and presenting results of analysis. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 859 Critique in Music Education

    This course normally serves as the final course in the DMA sequence. It brings theoretical and conceptual understandings from prior courses together with a range of research strategies, so that students can consider a possible research path. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA ME 921 Research and Directed Study in Music Education

    All other courses must be completed prior to enrollment in ME921. A week-long residency on campus with faculty where students define a need for research, develop a research problem, think critically about theoretical frameworks, and discuss appropriate research strategies. [ 1 cr.]

  • CFA MH 700 Research and Bibliography

    Methods and materials of research in music. Bibliography and bibliographical aids. Style informal writing, leading historians of the past and present, introduction to musicology. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA MH 835 American Music

    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. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA MH 837 Crossroads: Cultural and Musical Perspectives on the Blues

    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." [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA MH 862 African Music and Culture: Creative Exploration

    Focus on developing innovative teaching material and activities based on African music, and planning and implementing developmentally appropriate creative experiences based on the wealth of African cultures and traditions. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA MT 400 Graduate Theory Review

    This course is dependent on a student's theory proficiency exam results. 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. Pre-requisite for MU600, unless placed out via theory proficiency exam. [ 2 cr.]

  • CFA MT 600 Analytical Techniques

    Systematic and empirical investigations into formal and compositional procedures of selected masterworks from the tonal repetoire. Lectures leading to individual analytical projects. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA MT 630 Orchestration

    Orchestration I 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. [ 4 cr.]

  • CFA MT 781 Jazz and Popular Arranging

    Standard notational methods; chord vocabulary; arrangements of popular melodies in a variety of styles; development of materials from lead sheets; class performance of arrangements. [ 4 cr.]

Visit the Boston University Online Course Schedule to view all current and upcoming course offerings.