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Music Education Program Requirements

In addition to your coursework, there are other departmental and College of Education requirements you will be expected to fulfill as you progress through your degree program. Each requirement listed below will be explained in more detail as you reach certain milestones in your degree program. For coursework, degree check-lists, and semester-by-semester plans, visit the department's Advising Information for Majors webpage.

Freshman Year

Praxis I Exam [Core Academic Skills in Education]: Praxis I/Core is a college-entrance exam required by the state of Tennessee for all students in a teacher education program. The exam assesses competence in the areas of math, language, and reading comprehension. We recommend you take the Praxis 1/Core during your freshman or sophomore year. You are not required to take Praxis I as a freshman, but you will not be allowed to enroll in EDUC 3070 [usually taken in the junior year] until you receive acceptable scores on Praxis I. Praxis I may be taken at the Sylvan Learning Center in Clarksville, TN. Call 647-2003 for more information or to register for this exam.

If you have taken the ACT, SAT, or GRE, you are exempt from Praxis 1 if you have a minimum score of 1020 (SAT), 22 (ACT), or GRE scores of 350 Verbal/350 Quantitative.

Minimum acceptable Praxis 1/Core score for entry into the teacher education program are 156 (Reading), 150 (Math), and 162 (Reading).      

Combined Test (Reading, Math, Writing)              $150.00
Individual Sections                                               $90.00

For additional information, to check dates and deadlines, or to register for a Praxis/Core Exam:
[or] to check status, register or pay online:

Free study guides are available for Praxis I subjects Once you select the test for which you wish to obtain materials, select  “Free Test Preparation”

Financial Assistance for Praxis Exams: Students who demonstrate extreme financial need may be able to obtain financial assistance to register for the Praxis exam from Workforce Essentials / 110 Main Street / Clarksville, TN 37040-3236 / (931) 551-9110.

Sophomore Year

Junior Level Hearing: At the end of your sophomore year, you will complete a jury that ensures you are ready for upper-level music performance study. Your private lessons instructor(s) will guide you through this process. Additional information is available in the current Undergraduate Bulletin. You will not be permitted to enroll in upper-level music education courses until and unless you pass your junior-level hearing.

Milestone 1: The milestones are a series of checklists documenting that you have met certain competencies that are required of professional educators. There are three milestones and each milestone is associated with a required course in the music education program. Milestone I is completed in MUS 2240 Foundations of Music Education as a pre-admission to the Teacher Education Program. The Milestone Review Criteria Checklist  describes the requirements for each milestone. You will also receive additional information in each class related to the milestone process. FEE: No fee

Security Check: Before you can complete any field experience observations or teaching placements, you must complete a Security Check Form and Consent for Criminal Records Check by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (available from the College of Education). The security check is completed in MUS 2240 (Foundations of Music Education) and is valid until you graduate unless you withdraw from the university and return at a later date. FEE: $40.00 for fingerprinting services.  

Livetext: Livetext is an online document database used by the APSU College of Education to monitor your progress, and document that you have met the APSU Teacher Education Standards. In several Education and Music Education courses, you will complete assignments that are designated as Key Assessments. All Key Assessments should be submitted to your Livetext account. You will obtain a Livetext account in MUS 2240, and keep this account until you graduate. To purchase Livetext, go to Click on purchase/register, and follow the links. FEE: $115 for a Livetext subscription (Standard Edition)

Field Experience: In MUS 2240 Foundations of Music Education, you will be assigned to a local school and will be required to complete a designated number of observations in your assigned school. FEE: No fee

Junior Year

Semester One: In the junior year, you should take EDUC 3070 (Instructional Strategies). You will not be allowed to enroll in EDUC 3070 until you receive acceptable scores on Praxis I. During this course, you will continue to use Livetext, and will complete additional field experience hours. You will also complete Milestone II and the Application to the Teacher Education Program . Do not submit your application until you meet all described criteria.

Semester Two: Praxis 2: is the teacher licensure exam for teacher candidates in the state of Tennessee. You will not be permitted to student teach until and unless you receive passing scores on Praxis 2. Praxis 2 is divided into 2 sections. Prior to your senior year, you should complete the Music Content and Instruction Praxis Exam (Test number 5114 (computer-administered test). This test contains a listening section, multiple-choice section, and a writing prompt. FEE: $146.00. Minimum passing score: 162 (out of 200). For additional information, to check dates and deadlines, or to register for a Praxis Exam:

Piano Proficiency: The piano proficiency for music education majors should be completed before the senior year and MUST be completed before Residency 2.

Senior Year

Residency 1 requirements are usually fulfilled in the seventh semester (the first semester of your senior year). During this semester, you will only be permitted to enroll in EDUC 4080, EDUC 4440, SPED 3000, and MUS 4500, and your regular private lesson and one ensemble. Your classes will meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and you will be in an off-campus placement for observation and clinical teaching on Tuesday and Thursday.

Milestone III: You will complete Milestone III during Residency 1 semester.

Liability Insurance: All Residency 1 and 2 candidates must obtain a liability insurance policy. Liability insurance is available through the National Association for Music Education for $25.00 per year.  

Praxis II (Principles of Learning and Teaching): Praxis II (PLT) is the 2nd part of the teacher licensure exam covering classroom management, educational psychology, special education, pedagogy, and instructional planning. The PLT is usually completed during the Residency I semester, and must be successfully completed before you will allowed to student teach (Res. 2). There are two options for the PLT and you should choose the option that best suits your career goals. Regardless of the option you pick, you will still be certified to teach K-12.FEE: $139.00 / Minimum passing score: 158.

  • Option 1: PLT Grades K-6 (test 5622 [computer-administered exam])
  • Option 2: PLT Grades 7-12 (test 5624 [computer-administered exam])

Residency 2: (Clinical Teaching [formerly referred to as “student teaching”]) requirements are fulfilled in the final semester. In this semester, you will be assigned to a local school and will teach under the guidance and supervision of your campus mentor (the music teacher on the campus where you have been assigned) and a university mentor (APSU music education faculty). Music students will complete half of the clinical teaching semester on an elementary campus, and the second half in either a middle school or high school setting. You will also attend student-teaching seminars one afternoon each week with other student teachers and your university mentor.

Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA): The edTPA is a teacher-performance assessment portfolio that you will complete during Clinical Teaching. During MUS 4500 (in the Residency 1 semester), you will complete a practice edTPA and will receive additional information at that time.  

Senior Exam (graduating exam): The Senior Exit Exam (California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST)) is intended for use by colleges and universities in assessing the effectiveness of their general education programs to improve the quality of instruction and learning. Contact your advisor, e-mail, call 221-6184, or visit the website for more information. (excerpted from