students with drums

Music Education

Undergraduate | Graduate

Undergraduate Programs


We are pleased to offer curricula that make our program the most comprehensive preparation available to music education majors in the state of New Jersey. There are two programs for undergraduates in the Music Education curriculum: the BMus in Music (School and Community Settings) that does not include certification, and the BMus in Music Education with certification. Both programs have classical (guitar, instrumental, keyboard and voice) tracks and jazz (guitar, instrumental and keyboard) tracks. Students who graduate without certification may teach in private schools or enter other music or non-music related fields. Students who complete certification are qualified to teach in the New Jersey public school system.

The basic curriculum for both programs is the same. It can be described as four-tiered:

  1. Students are responsible for liberal arts requirements such as history, foreign language, and contemporary issues in sociology, psychology and technology.
  2. It is important to be educated in applied study, keyboard study, ensemble participation, music theory and music history.
  3. Students need expertise in music education, which focuses on pedagogical techniques for working in the context of the classroom, as well as choral and instrumental programs.
  4. Students gain an understanding of applications across all educational concentrations, involving topics such as educational philosophy, educational psychology, democratic teaching principles and critical thinking.

Students wishing to become certified must apply after their sophomore year to be accepted into the certification program. If they are accepted they must complete additional courses and participate in fieldwork and student teaching specified by the Montclair State Teacher Education Program.

In addition to the undergraduate programs, the Cali School offers the opportunity to combine undergraduate and graduate study for the BMus and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). This program prepares students for certification to teach music with a concentration in their primary area and also to teach students with disabilities.

State licensure in New Jersey requires that you be prepared for all facets and levels of music teaching, and our program will do just that. Music education majors comprise the largest concentration within the Cali School and are active in all facets of the school. Music education majors are expected to perform at high levels and participate in a variety of ensembles. Therefore, our students are treated as musicians AND hopeful teachers. It is our intention to foster music educators who intend to continue to perform, compose, conduct, and so on, as a lifelong endeavor.

Bachelor of Music (BMus) – School and Community Settings

Links to the Montclair State University Undergraduate Catalog for BMus without certification:

Guitar | Instrumental Keyboard | Voice

Bachelor of Music (BMus) – Music Education (with Certification)

‌Our five-year program will prepare you for all facets and levels of music teaching careers in New Jersey’s public schools, private or out-of-state schools. We offer the highest quality, comprehensive preparation for New Jersey’s music education licensure. Upon successful completion of the BMus program, you will receive an initial licensure from the state of New Jersey. Music education majors comprise the largest concentration within the Cali School. You will have first-class performing opportunities that we hope will lead you to be active in your musical field throughout your life.

Links to course listings in the Montclair State University Undergraduate Catalog for BMus with Certification:

Guitar with Certification | Instrumental with Certification | Keyboard with Certification | Voice with Certification

Bachelor of Music (BMus) and Master of Arts (MAT) Combined

This program combines undergraduate and graduate study leading to certification for teaching music with a primary concentration in guitar, instrumental, keyboard or voice, as well as teaching students with disabilities. See University Catalog listings:

BMus/MAT with Teacher Certification (Guitar; Students with Disabilities)
BMus/MAT with Teacher Certification (Instrumental; Students with Disabilities)
BMus/MAT with Teacher Certification (Keyboard; Students with Disabilities)
BMus/MAT with Teacher Certification (Voice; Students with Disabilities)

For more information, contact:

Marissa Silverman, Undergraduate Coordinator of Music Education

Graduate Programs

Cali School of Music graduate programs, led by nationally and internationally recognized faculty, offer comprehensive studies for music teachers in all levels and specializations. Committed to the advancement of music teaching in the public schools, course offerings reflect a range of progressive ideas and instructional strategies for the music classroom.  Equally important is the opportunity for students to meet others in the field and develop supportive networks. Financial aid is available for students carrying a minimum load of 4.5 credits per semester.

For more information about our graduate programs, contact:

Marissa Silverman, Graduate Coordinator of Music Education

Advanced Certificate in Music Teaching

A 15-credit fast-track program that offers courses from the MA program, focusing specifically on teaching in public school music classrooms. You must complete the program in no more than 5 consecutive semesters. No GREs or interview are required. Before applying, you must have earned a U.S. music teaching certificate or completed an alternate route music education program. You may transfer into the MA degree program at any time with no loss of credit. This would require one course substitution in the program.

Master of Arts with a Concentration in Music Education

This progressive program is designed entirely advancing music teaching practice, whether elementary general, middle school instrumental, or high school choral.  Both democratic practice and social justice define the core of the program.  Courses offer a healthy blend of theory and practice that promote artistry, critical thinking, and socially just teaching.  We seek to develop teachers who are thoughtful leaders and change agents in the field.

How to Apply Applicants must hold a U.S. teaching certificate or have completed an alternate routed music education program.  GRE’s are not required for admission.  Information about the application process can be found on The Graduate School site.

Program Description The 33-hour program offers small classes, individualized attention, and projects based on your own classroom.  The program is divided into 3 parts: (a) several music core courses, (b) specific music education courses, and (3) an action-research project.   Students must also pass a comprehensive examine to complete the degree.

Length of Completion Some students can complete the program in two years, including summer study.  Most students complete the program over a 3 year period.

Unique Features Ensemble options include non-western performance practice in West African Drumming Singing, and Dancing; Balkan Music; and a Popular Music ensemble.   Other electives allow for private music lessons, composition study, and conducting. A range of music education electives give students an opportunity to take courses specific to their teaching specialization.  All courses are offered in the evening with some offered during the summer session.  There are many opportunities to network, hear about other programs in the tri-state area, and engage in stimulating teacher-to-teacher conversation.

For more information about our graduate programs, contact:

Marissa Silverman, Graduate Coordinator of Music Education

Graduate Teacher Certification Programs

The College of Education, Health and Human Services (CEHS), in association with the Cali School, offers two programs that lead to teaching certification in the New Jersey public schools: the Post Baccalaureate certification program (PB) with a Concentration in Music Education and the Master of Arts in Teaching with a Concentration in Music Education (MAT) degree program. For students interested in additional study for special needs children/adolescents, there is also a dual certification program. See MAT with Certification in Music and Teaching of Students with Disabilities for information.

Both BP and MAT students prepare for teaching at all levels of the public schools and in all traditional specializations (e.g. general music, vocal/choral & instrumental). Both programs lead to music teacher certification, K-12, and offer substantial field experiences as well as a student teaching experience during the final semester. Students must pass the NJ Praxis II exam before student teaching. For course information, see the College of Education and Human Services.

Similarities and differences in the programs

The professional courses in these programs are similar, but there are some differences between the two programs:

  • The Master of Arts in Teaching degree program is for candidates who already hold a bachelor’s degree in music. This curriculum includes one additional graduate level music education course. The program is typically two years of full-time study with courses offered during the day and evenings.
  • The Post-Baccalaureate program is for candidates who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in music. This program offers a sequence of prerequisite undergraduate music courses that all music education majors take to become proficient in their content area in addition to a sequence of professional education courses. In some cases, it is possible to complete prerequisite coursework in the Post-Baccalaureate program and then transfer into the Master of Arts degree without loss of credit. The program takes approximately three years of full-time study during the day and evening, however, completion time will vary depending on the number of pre-requisite courses required.

For specific information about the curriculums, see MAT with Certification in Music and Post-Baccalaureate Certification.  For additional information on initial certification, see the Graduate School website.

Application Process

  • Candidates apply to the Graduate School for admission (the GRE is not required).
  • There is no deadline for applications to the graduate programs in music education, however, post-baccalaureate applicants without a bachelors degree in music must audition during one of the Cali School of Music audition dates.*
  • For the Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program, candidates must complete a music audition and a music education interview.
  • For the Master of Arts in Teaching degree program, candidates must have an interview with the Graduate Coordinator of Music Education as well as the representatives from the Center of Pedagogy, and a functional keyboard exam.*
  • MAT and post-baccalaureate applicants must successfully complete the Praxis I exam (waivers possible depending on scores from the SAT, GRE or ACT).
  • Candidates for admission require approval from the Graduate School, CEHS and the Cali School of Music.

* See Apply to the Cali School: Music Education for application and audition information.

Additional Requirements

Students must pass the NJ Praxis II exam before student teaching.

For more information about our graduate programs, contact:

Marissa Silverman, Graduate Coordinator of Music Education