Bachelor of Music Education

The undergraduate curriculum is focused on teacher preparation for a wide variety of elementary and secondary school settings as well as more specialized courses in instrumental, choral, general, and technology concentrations. Field experiences are integrated throughout the program so that preservice teachers gain valuable insights from working firsthand with experienced teacher mentors in music classrooms in the Urbana/Champaign area and beyond. Graduates of the program teach in public and private schools in both U.S and international settings.


Students enrolled in the Choral Concentration for the Bachelor of Music Education degree prepare for teaching students in secondary choral programs, as well as adult choirs. Throughout the program, students examine relevant developmental, social, and vocal issues in the middle school and high school choral classroom, explore concepts of choral tone and production, learn to select appropriate repertoire, and experiment with conducting gesture as well as various methods of score analysis and planning for instruction. Involvement with local choral programs provides opportunities for students to synthesize learning in real-world settings.

Students enrolled in the General Music Concentration for the Bachelor of Music Education degree prepare for teaching comprehensive musical courses in grades P-12.  The concentration focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and understandings that foster vibrant and creative music programs in a variety of contexts. Courses enable students to consider musical culture, diversity, and developmental and social learning theories as foundations for planning instruction.  Beyond the core music education courses, students take specialized classes in Early Childhood Music, Popular Music Pedagogy, and Music in the Interdisciplinary Curriculum.  Teaching experiences in local schools complement many of the general music courses.

The Instrumental Concentration for the Bachelor of Music Education degree prepares students to teach band and orchestra in elementary and secondary music education programs. Students in the Instrumental Concentration take a thoughtful sequence of technique (“how to play”) courses on percussion, string and wind instruments. In addition to the core music education, students take advanced instrumental methods (“how to teach”) and conducting classes.  Significant observation and teaching experiences in either band and orchestra classrooms at both the middle school and high school level are included throughout the course of study.

The Technology Concentration for the Bachelor of Music Education degree prepares students for contemporary and emerging practices related to teaching with, through, and about various technologies in P-12 music classrooms. Students in the Technology concentration of the BME degree program have the opportunity to explore areas including, but not limited to computer programming, digital and electronic music creation, electrical engineering, mediated educational environments, multimedia, sound recording and reproduction, and/or sound reinforcement. Additionally, students in this concentration apply their experiences in these varied fields to P-12 music education settings via a capstone portfolio project.