BM/MM (4+1) Music Education

Degree Type

  • Undergraduate


  • In-Person


  • On-Campus
Link to the bulletin

Please note: BU’s Music Ed 4+1 program is being revised during the 2024-25 academic year. Details on the changes will be available once approved by the University. Students are welcome to contact Professor Jackie Smith as they plan their degree journey.

Students admitted to the 4+1 program have the opportunity to complete all requirements for a Bachelor of Music (BM) degree in music performance and a Master of Music (MM) degree in music education with Initial Teaching Licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The 4+1 program affords students the expediency and financial benefits of earning both a BM and MM degree in a period of five years. The 4+1 program is appropriate for the student pursuing a career as a music educator, but who would also like to continue developing skills as a music performer at the highest level.

The first four years of the program are spent in coursework, with students completing all of their BM requirements as well as some MM requirements. The BM degree is typically awarded at the end of the fourth year, then 4+1 students enroll as graduate students for the fifth year.  During that year, students take the capstone music education course, additional graduate-level courses, and spend a semester in full-time student teaching. This specialized program offers students the challenge and intellectual stimulation involved in engaging in both areas of study and considering how they inform one another.

The fields of music education and music performance are inextricably linked.  Those who primarily teach music must also be highly-skilled musicians who often find explicit training in performance beneficial to their work.  Those who primarily perform will almost certainly also teach, and will benefit from having obtained skills and knowledge regarding the teaching and learning of music.

At Boston University, Music Education students are part of an international student body and a professional network that extends beyond graduation. Often, mentorship and research collaborations among faculty and graduates of the program continue as alumni enter their first teaching jobs.

Curriculum requirements for the BM/MM (4+1) in Music Performance and Music Education program can be found on the Academic Bulletin.

Program of Study

Students apply into the 4+1 program after matriculating at Boston University. Students who have entered as music performance majors may interview with music education faculty for possible admission into the program. Students who have entered as music education majors should consult with their studio teachers as admission into the 4+1 program may involve an additional audition. Students interested in the program should contact Dr. Diana Dansereau at for additional information.

The 4+1 program in music education is comprised of a closely-knit group of committed music education students and faculty members who value music and its impact. In addition to academic and performance requirements, students fulfill required pre-practicum experiences by teaching and observing in local schools and educational settings. The program’s close relationship with Boston Public Schools and other Greater Boston school districts provides numerous opportunities for students to engage in the classroom.

The 4+1 program allows students who are interested in obtaining skills and understanding regarding music teaching and learning, as well as focusing on further developing their music performance skills the opportunity to do both.

A supportive, hands-on environment include small class sizes and access to 11 full-time faculty members who are experts in their music education fields.

Situated within a large, top-tier research institution, students can engage fully in music education while also pursuing additional majors and/or minors other fields such as humanities, sciences, and health. Participation in University Hub courses with a vast array of options offered by nearly every college, school, and department on campus. Some undergraduates are dual-degree majors.

Boston University offers a number of programs that lead to a professional license or certification. Provided here is state-specific licensure information regarding the Master of Music in Music Education degree program. This information also applies to the Bachelor of Music Performance/Master of Music Education 4+1 program as well as the Pre-K-12 Music Education Certificate program.

The 4+1 Advantage

Combining the BM in Performance with the MM in Music Education, the 4+1 enables students to earn two high-value degrees within 5 years without needing to enroll in summer coursework.

Students can pursue music education while developing high-level performance skills. This balance allows students to prepare for a host of careers in the field of music in an efficient and cost-effective manner — and it broadens interactions with faculty and students across BU School of Music and various departments.

The 4+1 program equips students to pursue careers in music performance; teaching positions within school, studio or other settings; and/or graduate programs in music performance, education, or related fields.

Students enjoy all opportunities related to both the BM in music performance and the MM in music education, including participation in ensembles, private instrument/voice study, academic and methods courses related to music teaching and learning, choral and instrumental teaching labs, recital and other performance opportunities, student teaching, etc.

More about ensembles


  • Applied lessons may lead to performance opportunities in the School of Music including recitals and concerts.
  • Students may participate with Arts|Lab, an arts-based initiative at Boston University Medical Campus and Medical Center.
  • Boston Afterschool Music Program (BAM) and Boston University Music Engagement (BUME) both provide opportunities for students to participate in music enrichment in the community.
  • Students have several ways they can participate in presentations and attend conferences in local, regional, and national organizations including the student chapter of National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA), Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, and Music Learning Theory local and regional events, the MMEA Professional Development Conference, and the Play On Music Festival.
  • There are several University-wide opportunities to engage with and develop music and music education programs including Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Community Service Center Volunteer Programs, and First-Year Service Opportunities Program.

Faculty Feature

Kinh Vu’s Journey from Vietnam Orphan to BU Music Professor 
A new book examines what music can do for displaced persons, which this CFA faculty member knows firsthand

By Joel Brown | BU Today

Kinh Vu was an infant when he was abandoned in front of An Lạc Orphanage in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City. Like many of the children who landed there, he was given the surname of the woman who ran it, Madam Vũ Thị Ngải. 

“This is the gate where I was left outside the orphanage,” Vu says, showing a snapshot of an empty sidewalk and the closed gate. The mundane image belies its gravity for Vu, a College of Fine Arts assistant professor of music. “I have some of that wall, actually, in my office.” 

Read More

About Our Graduates

  • Joseph Oneschuk received his BM and MM degrees from Boston University. Before beginning a career in music education, he served as Band Master Sergeant and Chief Instructor at the US Army Band Training School at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He taught music in the Leicester Public Schools (MA) and Framingham Public Schools and served as Director of Fine Arts in the Framingham Schools from 1968-1999. He held numerous leadership positions in music education including President of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association and Manager and Chairperson for District, All-State, and Eastern Division (MENC) Conferences. He was awarded the Lowell Mason Award and the Distinguished Service Award by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. He was a professional trumpet and string bass player and conducted the Milford (MA) Concert Band and the Milford Congregational Church Choir for many years. Joe passed away in 2019.
  • William A. Seymour received his BM and MM degrees from Boston University. He was Director of Music in the Litchfield Public Schools (CT) and was Choral Director and Director of Performing Arts for the Brookline (MA) Public Schools. Bill served as the Associate Dean of the Graduate Division at the Boston Conservatory of Music and became the seventh President of the Boston Conservatory in 1981. He was awarded the Lowell Masson Award and the Distinguished Service Award by the Massachusetts Music Educator Association. Bill served as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Vermont Summer Music Session and was the Founder and Conductor of the Concordia Youth Chorale.
  • Herbert J. Philpott received his BM and MM degrees from Boston University. He served as an arts administrator in the Franklin Public Schools and the Concord Public Schools (MA) and was Director of Music In the Waltham Public Schools. He was Dean of the Boston Conservatory of Music from 1967-1977. He served as President of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) and was awarded the Lowell Mason Award and the Distinguished Service Award by the MMEA. He was a professional trombonist and conducted the Boston Brass Ensemble for over three decades. Herb passed away in 2014.

Next Steps for Applicants

The best way to determine if BU is right for you is to visit us in-person or remotely. Observe classes. Faculty members are available to meet with you and to discuss your educational interests, individual learning needs, and career goals.

Explore our admission requirements, financial tools, and resources to determine if the program is the right match. Reach out to with any questions along the way.

Admissions info

Explore More

Venues & Facilities

News & Events