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BM Music Education

Music Education Students

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Students who wish to pursue a BM degree in Music Education must choose either the Jazz or Classical track.

The music education program provides a solid basis for professional success as a teacher through courses in performance, theory, music history, music education, and liberal studies. Available with either a Jazz or Classical focus, our Music Education degree combines the best aspects of music and education into a strong and diverse program that leads to teacher certification in music for the State of New Jersey.

  • Take weekly private lessons on your major instrument.
  • Participate in instrumental, choral, and chamber ensembles.
  • Study piano, voice, and all band and orchestra instruments.
  • Perform on and off campus.
  • Have opportunities for professional development as a teacher both in and beyond the university.

William Paterson’s Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAME) gives students additional opportunities to discuss and participate in music education, be part of regional and national conventions, and enjoy social activities.

B.M. Music Ed Brochure

 CLICK HERE to download a brochure that describes the Music Education   programs at William Paterson University!

Admission Requirements:

In addition to the University’s admission requirements:

  • Completed Application.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a scale of 4.00.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Audition that demonstrates either excellence in music performance (live audition) or excellence in music teaching (video-recorded audition). Requirements are as follows:

Music performance

    • Applicants must present a live audition on campus with a program including a minimum of three moderate—to advanced—level works of differing style periods taken from the standard art music repertoire. These should demonstrate the performer's technical skills and musicianship. At least one selection from the contemporary period must be included. Applicants are expected to sight-read at the audition. Special considerations are:
      • Voice – all works must be memorized; at least two selections must be performed in a foreign language.
      • Piano – all works must be memorized.
      • Percussion – applicant must demonstrate ability on snare drum, timpani, and on a mallet instrument.

Music teaching

    • Applicants must submit a recent video recording (see application form for details) of teaching episodes that demonstrate their teaching ability and musicianship. At least one episode should show the applicant using his or her primary instrument or voice to model for students. Students wishing to study conducting should include a front view of themselves conducting an ensemble for a minimum of ten minutes. While there are no specific literature requirements for the conducting audition, selections should include at least two pieces in contrasting styles. The entire recording should not be longer than thirty minutes.


Music Education Degree Concentrations

Students may pursue an undergraduate music education degree in either classical or jazz idioms, based on their audition. Audition requirements may be seen in the auditions section of the website. Students whose major instrument is a traditional band or orchestra instrument typically follow the instrumental concentration while those who study voice, piano, or guitar usually follow the vocal concentration.

As a Bachelor of Music degree, the music education curriculum consists of demanding coursework in music as well as in education. All students receive a weekly 50 minute private lesson on their primary instrument, perform in large and small ensembles, and are featured as performers during our weekly recital hour.

For detailed curriculum information please click on one of the degree programs listed below:

The Teacher Certification Process

Undergraduate students seeking initial teacher certification usually begin taking Professional Education Sequence courses in their 5th semester in partnership with William Paterson University’s College of Education. These courses include classroom work as well as clinical experiences in New Jersey public schools, which are administered through the College of Education's K-12 Subject Area certification program. Upon successful completion of all course work, exam requirements, and clinical experiences, graduating students will be recommended to the state to receive a New Jersey teaching certificate for comprehensive music, grades N-12.

Post-Baccalaureate Certification

Students who have already completed an undergraduate degree in music may obtain their New Jersey teacher certification (Subject Matter K-12 in Music) through the Master of Arts in Teaching, which is administered by the through the College of Education at William Paterson University. Students interested in this program should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for application information as well as the current coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching.


At William Paterson University we believe that excellence in music education begins with excellence in musicianship and performance developed by way of

  1. intensive study on a major instrument and participation in performing ensembles
  2. a thorough knowledge of music theory, history, and literature
  3. an understanding of current instrumental, vocal, and general music teaching methods and techniques, and
  4. an awareness of their historical, philosophical, psychological, sociological, cultural, and aesthetic foundations and implications.

Our music education program provides the knowledge, skills, flexibility, and versatility required to meet the demands of contemporary educational settings. Through the study of important topics in music education, including performance, general, instrumental and choral music education and technology, our graduates are consistently recognized as having a well-rounded, down to earth approach to teaching music.