A-Z Index

Music Education

Program(s) Available: B.M.E.

Music allows students to express themselves in ways that no other subject can. Do you want to teach the next Beethoven or Olivia Rodrigo? If so, our music education major may be for you. 

Why Study Music Education at Northwest

Many schools offer music education programs, but Northwest's Department of Fine and Performing Arts is unmatched. At Northwest, music education students have the option to specialize in vocal music education or instrumental music education. If you want to be a choir director, you'll choose vocal, and if you want to conduct a band, you'll choose instrumental.

Regardless of the track you choose, all students hone their musicianship skills through courses like applied music, music literature and music theory. Faculty are experts in their craft and have years of experience. You’ll work one-on-one with the best of the best, gaining valuable knowledge that will follow you into your future classroom.

In addition to gaining a solid music education, you’ll experience the one-of-a-kind culture that is the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building. Expect to be welcomed with open arms as you navigate the journey of auditioning for and participating in various music ensembles. Students also have the option to join music fraternities like Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. 

Did you know you can add on an extended certification in vocal or instrumental music education? For example, if you major in vocal music education but also want to conduct band, you can add an extended certification in instrumental music education. This gives you an advantage when applying for jobs! 

To learn more about the differences between vocal and instrumental music education, keep reading.

Note that Northwest currently does not provide coursework for string students.

Pick your path


The instrumental music education major certifies students to teach in K-12 classrooms. You'll learn the basics of all the band instruments, curriculum design and implementation, classroom management and more. This track is perfect for helping students reach their full instrumental potential. Is there anything better than seeing that smile on a student's face after they play their first note?

The vocal music education extended certification can be added to the instrumental music education major. This is not a major or minor but an extended certification that meets Missouri teacher certification requirements in vocal music K–12.

INSTRUMENTAL 4-year plan


Have you ever wanted to conduct your own choir? If so, this one is definitely for you. The vocal music education major teaches students how to be successful choral conductors and certifies them to teach in K-12 classrooms. Did we mention you'll also learn how to play piano? Those piano books you have stashed away from elementary school might come in handy after all. 

Students in this major also have the opportunity to audition for and participate in groups like Tower ChoirUniversity Chorale, Concert Choir and musical theater.

The instrumental music education extended certification can be added to the vocal music education major. This is not a major or minor but an extended certification that meets Missouri teacher certification requirements in instrumental music K–12.

VOCAL 4-year plan

Career Ready
Instrumental Music Education

"I chose Northwest because it has a solid music education program that was small enough for me to be able to build relationships with professors and not get lost in the crowd." — Titus Weinzierl

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

We take hands-on to a whole new level. Students participate in observations, field experiences, practicums and student teaching! 

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Choral Ensembles

Northwest offers several choral ensembles! These groups include University Chorale, Tower Choir and Concert Choir.

View a list of all music-related ensembles »

Choral Ensembles

Instrumental Ensembles

Northwest also offers several instrumental music ensembles to take part in. These ensembles include, but are not limited to, Bearcat Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble and more!

View a list of all music-related ensembles »

Instrumental Ensembles

Learning Resources

Horace Mann Laboratory School is a clinical teaching environment on the Northwest campus that provides students with profession-based opportunities and skills for careers in education. Horace Mann, which serves children ages 3 through sixth grade, provides hands-on, project-based learning for Northwest students.

Learning Resources

Performance Spaces

Northwest has two large theaters where students perform. The Charles Johnson Theater and Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts is where you will spend a lot of your time! 

Performance Spaces
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