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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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B.M.E. in Music Education

Teach. Inspire. Share your love of music.
Music weaves its way into every aspect of our lives. A degree in music education from Penn State means you will be the one guiding others in how to appreciate, perform, and share music in their own lives. Our award-winning faculty have teaching experience spanning all age and grade levels, and will prepare you to take on the wonderful challenge of teaching music to others.

Are you ready to inspire others through music? We’ll show you how.

Music educators have the unique privilege of sharing both their knowledge of music and their passion for it. In the Bachelor of Music Education program, you’ll develop your teaching skills and your own musicianship by working with award-winning faculty whose experience spans every type of educational institution. It’s your chance to be the inspiration—to be the one who shows a student how music enhances every part of our lives. While courses focus on preparing you to teach in K–12 settings, the skills and experiences you gain can be transferred to a variety of teaching environments.

Is the Bachelor of Music Education right for you?

The Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) degree prepares students for teaching in elementary and secondary schools, where they often serve as both personal and musical role models. Upon a successful Penn State application and audition, students enter the pre-major, where they typically spend two years completing the entrance-to-major requirements. Some of those requirements are a piano proficiency exam, select courses in music and educational psychology, and at least 80 hours of paid or volunteer work. Refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin for entrance to major criteria. The program culminates with a semester of student-teaching.

Graduates are prepared to receive the Pennsylvania Instructional I certificate for teaching music K–12. Teaching early childhood music classes; elementary school music; middle and high school band, orchestra, and choir; and adult community ensembles are just some of the ways music educators ply their trade.


Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map. (Available July 2020.)

School of Music student teacher helping elementary students during rehearsal.

Level Up

Take your degree to the next level, so you can help your students do the same.

Minors + Options
International Programs

Music Summer Program. Select from English- and German-taught course options focusing on music and European culture and society.

University of Leeds Summer Program

One of the largest universities in Great Britain and located in a city known for its rich musical tradition and thriving local music scene.

Outreach

Performances in the community and on campus; musical presentations at conferences and schools throughout the region; teaching music lessons in public schools; participating in teaching mission trips abroad.

Considering the B.M.E.? Consider this.

100 percent placement rate for graduates in either teaching jobs or graduate school.

  • This degree prepares you to teach music in kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • Gain experience through student-teaching in schools and other environments.
  • Degree prepares you for Pennsylvania teacher certification.
  • Our music students contribute to and participate in the vibrant campus culture at Penn State.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State School of Music alumna Annie Burridge

Alumni Spotlight

Annie Burridge

B.M. in Music 2000

As general director and CEO of Austin Opera, Annie has led the development of a new strategic plan and launched an artistic initiative – Opera ATX – which brings groundbreaking artists to unexpected and unique venues throughout Austin. Before switching her focus to administration, Annie performed with numerous opera companies and orchestras, and was a young artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. In addition to her performance successes, Annie has received many leadership accolades.

Opera venue with grand piano on stage.
Two operatic performers dancing on a darkened, red-cast stage.

News from A&A

Women of Color Symposium set for Oct. 28

The 2020 Women of Color in Arts and Design Symposium, featuring alumni from across the college, will be Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

The 2020 Women of Color in Arts and Design Symposium, this year taking place via Zoom, will be Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sponsored by the College of Arts and


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School of Music leans on science to find harmony during pandemic

Faced with unique, unprecedented challenges the School of Music takes a science-based approach to pedagogy during a pandemic.
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