Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music Education, B.M.

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This degree program prepares students for careers in PK-12 school-based music teaching. Students completing this course of study are prepared to apply for state teacher certification in Maine and other states. Students are advised to meet with their advisor if they plan to seek teacher certification in states other than Maine.

As the field of music education requires a broad range of skills and competencies, students are required to complete substantial work in music theory, ear training, musicology, applied music, conducting, chamber music and ensembles, in addition to music education methods courses, field work and teaching internships. The music education curriculum reflects the full range of knowledge and skills required in current practice. All students complete a nearly identical curriculum with adjustments made to reflect the unique requirements of individualized areas of applied study (composition, vocal, and instrumental) identified during the audition process.

Program Requirements

All students are reminded that, in addition to meeting School requirements for a major leading to a baccalaureate degree, they must also meet the University’s General Education requirements. The minimum number of credits required for the degree is 120.

Music CORE (33 credits)

Functional Piano (4 credits)

(keyboard players have substitute courses; see below)

Conducting (4 credits)

Applied Music (14 credits)

Classical Performance: Instrumental

  • Classical performance in brass, guitar, percussion, piano, strings, woodwinds (7 semesters)
Classical Performance: Voice (7 semesters)

  • All voice students who are taking applied voice lessons as their primary instrument must take 6 semesters of MUS 440 - Studio Class. Credits: 0.5 (3 credits)
Composition (7 semesters)

  • Semesters 1 & 2 - composition
  • Semesters 3 & 4 - composition AND secondary instrument or voice
  • Semesters 5 - 7 - composition
Jazz performance - bass, drums, guitar, saxophone, trumpet and trombone

Jazz performance - piano

Jazz performance - voice

All areas of applied study are required to complete

Ensembles (7 credits)

Students must be enrolled in a primary ensemble during each semester of the program for a minimum of 7 semesters. Placements will be made at the discretion of the ensemble directors.
Requirements for students studying applied classical brass, percussion, string or woodwind performance:

Requirements for students studying applied classical performance in voice:

Requirements for students studying applied classical performance piano

Requirements for students studying applied classical performance guitar

Requirements for students studying applied composition

Requirements for students studying applied jazz

Jury Information

All music education majors will take a progress check jury at the end of each fall semester and a level jury at the end of each spring semester. Jury literature will be matched to the outlined applied study plan in their area. Jury level expectations are: Level I - earned at the conclusion of Semester 2; Level II - earned at the conclusion of Semester 4; Level III - earned at the conclusion of Semester 6. Jury Level III must be earned prior to the presentation of the Senior Recital.


All music education composition concentration students will complete composition juries as specified above. Additionally, students will complete a check jury in Semester 3 and a Jury Level I in Semester 4 on an instrument or voice.

Jazz Concentration

All music education jazz concentration students will complete juries as specified above. The specific level sequence will be: MUEJ Jury Level I (classical) at the end of Semester 2, MUEJ Jury Level II (jazz) at the end Semester 4, and MUEJ Jury Level III (jazz) at the end of Semester 6.


All music education majors specializing on a string instrument will complete juries as specified above. Additionally, the Jury Level III must include 75% of the Senior Recital repertory requirements and be performed with piano accompaniment (where appropriate).

Admission Information

Admission is based on the following criteria: 

  1. Performance audition on the applicant’s major instrument.
  2. Tests of aural comprehension, rhythmic recitation, and sight singing administered individually by a member of the staff.
  3. A diagnostic written test of music fundamentals, including intervals, scales, chords, and key signatures.

Admission to Upper Division in Music Education

Upper division music courses are typically designated by course numbers in the 300 or 400 range.

In order to enroll in upper division music courses, a music student must:

  • Earn a grade of C- or better in all MUS, MUH, MUT courses.*
  • Earn a grade of B- or better in all MUE and MUP courses.*
  • Earn a grade of B- or better in HRD 200  /SBS 200   and SED 235.
  • Earn a Level II on the applied music jury.
  • Successfully complete College Writing and Quantitative Reasoning Core courses.
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

*Note: These standards are in effect for all MUS, MUE, MUH, MUT, and MUP courses in both the lower and upper divisions of the program.

In March of the sophomore year students will complete the application for admission to Upper Division. This application and review are part of the advising process within ProSeminar IV. Students who fail to meet the above requirements may not enroll in upper division courses.

Recital Information

Senior recital requirements: Presentation of a solo recital in the senior year (or junior year with special permission). The recital contains 30 minutes of music including at least 25 minutes of solo performance; the remainder may be chamber music. Normally the program will be shared with another MUE senior or MUP junior recital. Programs exceeding 30 minutes of music require the special approval of the faculty. A student may not perform the required recital during the semester of Professional Internship.


In addition to the general recital language provided above, the senior recital for music education majors specializing in composition will meet the following requirements: the recital will consist of 30 minutes of original music for a variety of ensembles (at least 3) ranging from solo to large chamber group. The music featured on the recital must have been composed during the student’s time at USM.

Jazz Concentration

In addition to the general recital language provided above, the senior recital for music education majors specializing in jazz will consist of a minimum of 25 minutes of jazz repertoire. This repertoire shall demonstrate the student’s skills at improvisation, composition/arranging, technical proficiency and musicianship.

Strings and Winds

In addition to the general recital language provided above, the senior recital for music education majors specializing in strings or winds will meet the following requirements: the recital must contain 30 minutes of music including at least 25 minutes of solo performance; the remainder may be chamber music. Students must present a range of pieces demonstrating a variety of historical styles and genres, technical proficiency and musicianship. At least one work must be performed from memory. A pre-recital hearing two weeks prior to the degree recital must be passed before the student may present their recital.

The Professional Internship

This is a field-based student teaching experience. Students are placed with music educator mentors on a full-time basis in order to gain multiple guided and independent teaching experiences. In preparation for the Internship, students in music education must:

  • Successfully complete all required coursework prior to the Internship;
  • Successfully complete all performance juries and the recital prior to the Internship;
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above; and
  • Submit proof of successful completion of Maine Department of Education required fingerprinting and background check.

The Capstone Project for Music Education

This is the Professional Portfolio. The Professional Portfolio provides students with an opportunity to reflect upon their own growth and development in the teaching profession. The portfolio will include materials that demonstrate fulfillment of the USM Teacher Certification Standards. Upon completion, the Professional Portfolio is a document suitable for presentation and future reference.

The Professional Education Council, comprised of deans, department chairs, faculty, and school representatives from all programs offering initial teacher preparation, is the governing body for program review and evaluation for all initial-level teacher education programs at USM.

For the purposes of field placements in schools during the educational cluster and internship year, students are required to complete and show documentation of the fingerprinting process outlined by the Maine Department of Education: http://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/fingerprinting/

All students must formally declare their entry into a teacher certification concentration by completing the declaration procedures found on the Office of Educator Preparation web site at http://usm.maine.edu/educator-preparation. Subscription to Tk20, and two recommendation forms are necessary to complete the declaration process.

Tk20 Subscription:

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program or pathway in USM summer 2013 or later and are accepted as a candidate for their internship year are required to subscribe to the Tk20 online data management system once being accepted as a teacher education candidate and prior to their internship year. The subscription allows students to use the system for assessment, advisement, field-experience, and career portfolio management. The subscription fee covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. For loan purposes, it will be eligible for consideration as part of costs. The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student after they have passed their candidacy process and before the first semester of their internship year. Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation web site: http://usm.maine.edu/educator-preparation

Please note Professional Education Council Policy: In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to his/her state approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20).

USM Core Requirements

The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements. 

Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fulfilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor.  For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.

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