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Music Education

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

The Bachelor of Music Education (BME) provides the foundation of critical skills and knowledge necessary for our teacher candidates' preparation towards licensure. Most importantly, these experiences help foster a strong educational philosophy focused on leadership and service to all students so that their lives are affected by the beauty of music.

You get to study with Music Education faculty who are committed to undergraduate teacher education. They are recognized nationally for their expertise and provide leadership and service in professional organizations and affiliations at the local, state, national and international levels.

Students seeking a Bachelor of Music Education choose from one of four sequences based upon your primary performance area (brass, percussion, piano, strings, voice, or woodwind), including:

  • Choral/General/Vocal
  • Choral/General/Keyboard
  • Instrumental/Band
  • Instrumental/Orchestra

All sequences follow an 8-semester plan of study that prepares you for the K-12 Music teacher's license, which makes you eligible for employment in all grade levels of music instruction (elementary, middle, and secondary), as well as all areas of music education (band, choir, general, and orchestra).

Why Study Music Education?

Music Teacher Education at Illinois State University prepares outstanding music educators in a dynamic environment that will support and nurture the development of future generations of musicians for a lifelong appreciation of music.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Confidence, personality, a positive attitude, and a love of music are important to success
  • Ability to make critical observations
  • Ability to concentrate and practice musical instruments for long periods
  • Good listener
  • Works well under pressure
  • Team player and ability to work alone
  • Creative
  • Ability to work with a myriad of populations and skill-sets, including adults and children, administrators and parents, etc.
  • Ability to multitask
  • Willingness to work extended work hours

Related Fields

  • Public/private school music teacher

The state of Illinois has a long tradition of supporting music within its public schools. Because of this, there are a significant number of teaching positions available each year. Due to the reputation of Illinois State University, the School of Music, and the College of Education as state leaders in education, all music education graduates typically gain employment as music educators.

It is typical for incoming undergraduate students to be unsure of what they want to teach upon graduation. In fact, many freshmen Music Education majors are unsure if they really want to teach music at all. Experiences throughout the undergraduate degree program will help you decide if a career in music teaching is for you, as well as what type of career you want to have. Because the curricula of the various music degree options are so similar, students can easily transfer from the Music Education program without losing credits.

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Renee Carrigan  110 Student Services Building  rdcarugl@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5864 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Joe Manfredo  CVA 211D  jmanfre@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8372 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions  to apply today!

Applying to the Program

  • Complete your application for admission, including selecting an audition date
  • Refer to the suggested repertoire recommendations for each music studio to prepare for your audition. You may want to also contact the respective applied faculty member for further information about the audition.
  • Additionally, please provide a letter of recommendation from a music professional to:
    Undergraduate Music Admissions
    Campus Box 5660, Illinois State University
    Normal, IL 61790-5660

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today.

Applying to the Program

  • Complete your application for admission, including selecting an audition date
  • Refer to the suggested repertoire recommendations for each music studio to prepare for your audition. You may want to also contact the respective applied faculty member for further information about the audition.
  • Please provide a letter of recommendation from a music professional to:
    Undergraduate Music Admissions
    Campus Box 5660, Illinois State University
    Normal, IL 61790-5660
  • If you are currently enrolled in a 4-year NASM (National Association of Music Schools) accredited institution, you must provide a completed Transfer Acknowledgement Form. Send the completed form to:
    Undergraduate Music Admissions
    Campus Box 5660, Illinois State University
    Normal, IL 61790-5660

Minimum GPA

2.75

Middle 50% GPA

3.04 - 3.49

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

  • Music Theory I, II, III & IV
  • Musicianship I, II, III & IV
  • Group Instruction Piano I, II, III & IV
  • Performance ensembles (choir, orchestra or band), 4 semesters
  • Private instruction on your primary instrument/voice-part, 4 semesters

Placement Tests

Upon enrolling at Illinois State, the School of Music requires that transfer students take a placement tests for Music Theory and Group Piano. Contact Janet Tulley for information on these two tests.

Additional Information

The following criteria will be used in determining whether a former Illinois State student will be re-admitted to the music education major:

  1. Successful re-audition or permission of the appropriate applied areas
  2. A 2.5 GPA in the theory/history core and applied music

It is strongly recommended that students meet the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) prior to enrollment. Visit the College of Education's website for details on acceptable ACT or SAT scores which can be used to meet this requirement.

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Gina Dew  Center for Visual Arts 214B  grdew@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7265 

Middle 50% GPA

3.04 - 3.49

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Application Period

Applications are always accepted.

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.

Major Requirements

  • Complete your application for admission on My.IllinoisState.edu, including selecting an audition date
  • Refer to the suggested repertoire recommendations for each music studio to prepare for your audition. You may want to also contact the respective applied faculty member for further information about the audition.
  • Please provide a letter of recommendation from a music professional to:
    Undergraduate Music Admissions
    Campus Box 5660, Illinois State University
    Normal, IL 61790-5660

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Gina Dew  Center for Visual Arts 214B  grdew@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7265 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016
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