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Music Education FAQ

Follow this link for the music department's admissions and scholarships page, or  this link for information about audition dates and requirements. You may also follow this link to  the university's admissions page and to apply to APSU.

Music teachers are both professional educators and professional musicians. Therefore your course work will prepare you to be a competent educator and exceptional vocalist or instrumentalist. Upon successful completion of your course work and additional requirements, you will be awarded a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and an all-level music teacher certification from the state of Tennessee. Although you may have specific career goals as an elementary music specialist or secondary ensemble director, you will be trained and certified to do both.

A Music Education Degree prepares students to teach music in a variety of settings and to students of all ages. Music Education graduates typically pursue careers as:

  • Pre-school Music Teachers
  • Elementary/General Music Teachers
  • Choral Directors
  • Band Directors
  • Orchestra Directors
  • Private Studio Instructors
  • Professional Performers

Many of our graduates also pursue graduate degrees in music education, performance, or other professional music endeavors.

All music majors take a group of basic musicianship classes including music theory, ear training, music history, and music technology, and a group of general education courses that are required of all APSU students (English, Math, Science, etc…). You will also take private lessons with an applied instructor, and perform in any one of APSU’s vocal or instrumental ensembles. Music education courses begin in the sophomore year and conclude with a semester of clinical-teaching. You will also take a group of teacher-preparation courses from the College of Education that prepares you to become a state-certified teacher.

There are two requirements to becoming a teacher: a college degree, and a teaching license. When you successfully complete all course requirements, you will receive the degree. You will not be certified to teach until you successfully complete the state’s teacher licensure exam (Praxis II). The content and skills you will learn in your coursework will prepare you for the Praxis.

Yes, most states offer “reciprocity” for teacher certification, meaning that they will accept teaching licenses from other states. Based on where you live, you may be required to take a different exam within a given timeframe. At the very least, you will have the necessary degree and credentials to be hired in another state.

Although some students take five years to complete their coursework, a four-year degree is manageable. APSU provides a four-year plan of study that includes a final semester of student teaching. When you enroll, you will be provided with a faculty advisor in the music department who will work with you to enroll in the appropriate courses you need to graduate on time. Graduating in four years assumes that you take the courses in the order in which they are suggested and that you successfully complete each course on your first attempt.

A music education degree opens the doors to many opportunities in music. While we do not view teaching as a "fallback" position, the options are there for those who seek them. In addition, we have found that many who seek other degrees in music (performers, composers, directors) often find themselves teaching at some point in their careers. It is best to be prepared.

It is in your best interest to take the SAT or ACT while in high school. All APSU students enrolled in a teacher-preparation program are required to take a college-readiness exam called Praxis I before the end of the sophomore year. However, you are exempt from Praxis 1 if you have a minimum SAT score of 1050, or minimum ACT score of 22.

If you have not taken the SAT or ACT, you must take Praxis 1 and score a minimum of 174 in reading, and 173 in math and writing.

First, you will participate in a thriving music department, surrounded by a culturally and musically rich community. Next, you will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most notable musicians in the field. Third, you will experience a completely revised, comprehensive music education program that will prepare you to be a top-quality music educator, making you a highly desirable candidate in a competitive job market.

In addition to these opportunities, the APSU Department of Music is intricately involved with music education across Tennessee and throughout the U.S. Our students regularly participate in local, state-wide, and national clinics, conventions, and festivals. APSU is also host to a number of workshops, contests, music enrichment programs, and other events in which music education majors are involved.