The University of St. Thomas


Academic Resources

Academic Resources

Our Academic Programs

Master of Arts in Music Education
Certificate Programs
Nondegree Students
Additional Opportunities for Graduate Credit
Graduate Music Course Offerings

   Master of Arts in Music Education

Program Structure

The Master of Arts in Music Education curriculum requires 33 semester hours and consists of three essential elements:

  • core courses that embody issues of teaching and learning, historical and philosophical foundations of music education, musicianship and ensemble, perspectives in music theory, and music education research methods;
  • a specialized field of concentration that offers opportunities to develop specific skills in required and elective courses; and
  • a master's thesis or final project that allows students to conduct applied research in music education.

Core Courses

Core courses provide opportunities for students to place their specific skills within a broader musical and educational context. Areas of study include: an introduction to scholarship and research methods in music education (GMUS 600); an examination of conditions that affect the learning process and ways they can be mediated to influence student development (GMUS 601); a survey of ideas, forces, philosophies, and values that have shaped American music education (GMUS 608); an examination and application of traditional and contemporary music theory scholarship (GMUS 611); in-depth consideration of music history, literature, and theory devoted to a particular historical period (GMUS 612); systematic study of applied musicianship skills in tonic solfa and choral ensemble (GMUS 750);  and the application of music education research to final projects and thesis writing (GMUS 890).

Fields of Concentration

Five fields of concentration are available in the Master of Arts program. Each is designed to develop teaching expertise in an area of specialty in music education: Choral, Instrumental, Kodály, Orff Schulwerk, or Piano Pedagogy.


The Master of Arts in Music Education degree program is designed for working music teachers who wish to pursue graduate study without interrupting their professional lives. All courses required for the degree are available during the summer term in an interlocking arrangement of day and evening courses. Field of concentration courses are offered in notations of even- and odd-numbered years. For the convenience of those teachers who live in the Twin Cities' metropolitan area, most core courses are offered also during the fall and spring semesters.


The program director serves as academic advisor for all students until course work is completed. Degree plans are prepared during the admissions interview.

   Certificate Programs

As the University of St. Thomas Master of Arts in music education degree program was initially built on the objective of developing "competency in the philosophy and practice of Orff Schulwerk, Kodály, and Dalcroze," these three concentrations continue to hold their places as major aspects of the program. Along with students crafting M.A. degrees around these concentrations, they are also able to obtain national certification through the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, the Organization of American Kodály Educators and the Dalcroze Society of America. Moreover, the coursework for the piano pedagogy concentration prepares students directly to apply for certification with Music Teacher National Association. Students are able to undertake these opportunities within a master's degree or obtain certification alone. With these available opportunities, the St. Thomas Graduate Programs in Music Education set itself in a class of its own.

   Graduate Studies for Nondegree Students

Many graduate music education courses at St. Thomas are open to students who have not been admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education (MAME) program. The nondegree enrollment option is designed for students who want to try graduate coursework before enrolling in the Master's program or for students interested in educational study leading to academic credit and a university transcript. Up to six credits may be applied toward the M.A. degree, provided that the coursework is applicable to one of the degree concentrations.

Over fifty courses and workshops are offered year-round to facilitate life-long learning opportunities for music education practitioners. Subjects include diverse topics such as African Music Ensemble, technology, handmade instruments, guitar pedagogy, lap dulcimer and autoharp, Irish music, interdisciplinary/ multicultural approaches to composition, dances from around the world, early childhood music, developing the child voice, studio recording, and more.

   Additional Opportunities for Graduate Credit

The University of St. Thomas offers graduate credit for some courses taken at the Shell Lake Arts Center in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. For detailed course dates, fees, and descriptions, visit the Shell Lake Arts Center (SLAC) Web site at or send questions via e-mail to

Some SLAC courses may serve as possible electives in the instrumental concentration in the UST Master of Arts in Music Education (MAME) degree. Students must receive prior approval from the Director of Graduate Programs in Music Education at St. Thomas in order for credits to serve as an elective in the MAME program. Course fees are billed through the University of St. Thomas. There is no financial aid available through St. Thomas for these courses. Students also may take SLAC courses as nondegree courses.

For information on Minnesota Orff, Kodály Chapter of Minnesota, and other workshops please refer to our Workshops page within this site. For more information on obtaining a credit when attending workshops please refer to Graduate Credit for Workshops.

The University of St. Thomas admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.