Master of Music in Music Education

By transforming yourself, you will lift your music department, school, and community. And that changes the world.

You understand that music engages your students in ways that other subjects cannot. You have witnessed a new intensity in them as they really hear a piece of music for the first time. You’ve felt your students’ joy in working as a team, and you’ve been moved when they’ve performed at venues where the healing power of music is especially needed—such as the local soup kitchen, veteran’s hospital, or hospice.

Boston University has long stood for music education that goes beyond schooling, extending active music participation from infancy through senior adulthood. Our faculty is comprised of leaders in early childhood music education, community music facilitation, music technology, and lifespan engagement. They are eager to share their expertise with you because expanding the number of highly qualified music educators is at the center of their careers.

As a Master of Music degree student, you will examine critically a variety of research that informs music education. You will discuss and analyze philosophical, sociological, and psychological ideas and problems in the field of music education. Music theory and analytical techniques in composition will sharpen the eye and ear. Our list of engaging electives will ensure that you have opportunities to hone your scholarly writing and research skills. Your student colleagues will be music education professionals from around the world who will become lifelong friends and professional contacts.

Our online Music Education degree graduates leave re-energized, with their teaching bolstered by new techniques, their research skills grounded in theory and history, and their analytic skills sharpened.

By transforming yourself, you will lift your music department, school, and community. And that changes the world.

Join us. Let’s get started.

Awards & Accreditations

NASM Accredited: Boston University holds accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with 615 accredited institutional members.

Why Choose BU’s Master in Music Education?

  • Excellence: Enhance and enrich your Music Education studies by being a part of a major research institution with access to world-class faculty and resources.
  • Choice: As a student in the MM in Music Education program, you can choose from over 15 electives in order to customize your own educational path. Our program offers a three-course focus in Music Technology, which allows students to qualify for Level 1 certification through TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Educators).
  • Options: Students are welcome to campus each summer to take intensive one- or two-week electives to satisfy their requirements. Past courses included: Empowering Song: Music with Body, Mind, and Heart; and Special Topics in Digital Music Education.

Follow a “Day in the Life” of Master in Music Education candidate, Paul Shihadeh, who is also the musical director of the world famous “O” by Cirque du Soleil.


Boston University offers competitive tuition rates that meet the needs of part-time students seeking an affordable education. These rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education. To learn more about current tuition rates, visit the Tuition & Fees page.


Students in Boston University’s online Master of Music in Music Education (MusM) complete at least eight 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 to 24 months. Learn more about the full breakdown of course requirements for this program from BU’s College of Fine Arts.

Attention Arkansas Residents, please note: Enrollment in the MM in Music Education program offered by Boston University does not lead to public school (P–12) teacher licensure or a subject field endorsement (for public P–12 schools) in Arkansas.

CFAME541 Introduction to Music 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. Information on applying for Level I TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Educators) certification will be provided at the end of the course. [4 credits] [4 credits]

CFAME542 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 credits]

CFAME543 Special Topics in Music Education Technology: Notation with Sibelius

ME543: Special Topics in Music Education Technology: Notation with Sibelius 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. [4 credits]

CFAME545 Power, Marginalization, and Privilege in Music Education

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. [4 credits]

CFAME740 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. [4 credits]

CFAME741 History and Philosophy in Music Education: Perspectives and Practice

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 credits]

CFAME742 History and Philosophy in Music Education: Perspectives and Practice

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 credits]

CFAME751 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 credits]

CFAME753 Introduction to Early Childhood Music Education

ME 753 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. [4 credits]

CFAME759 Curriculum in Music Education: Vision and Design

This is the final course in the Master of Music in Music Education degree program, and it lasts for 14 weeks. In the course, 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. [4 credits]

CFAME840 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 credits]

CFAME842 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 credits]

CFAMH750 Toward a 21st-Century Aesthetic of Musicking

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. [4 credits]

CFAMH835 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 credits]

CFAMH837 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 credits]

CFAMH862 An Ethnographic Exploration of African Musical Cultures

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. [4 credits]

CFAMT400 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 MT600, unless placed out via theory proficiency exam. [2 credits]

CFAMT600 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 credits]

CFAMT630 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 credits]

CFAMT781 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 credits]


Every day, our talented faculty of working artists challenges students to push the boundaries of Theatre, Music, and Visual Arts in the context of an elite research university.

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Summer Session

Some online MM in Music Education degree students take advantage of our summer session, completing coursework 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.


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Getting Started

Admission deadlines are every seven weeks. Please complete our inquiry form to receive more information . Students may apply to begin at any time. For assistance with your application or to ask questions, please contact our Manager of Online Admissions at 1-855-884-5636, email, or visit the CFA program website.