This four-year degree qualifies candidates for pre-kindergarten – 12th grade music teaching certification in Georgia. Candidates develop a primary area of expertise by selecting either a Choral or Instrumental Emphasis. They also gain skills and knowledge to teach outside their expertise and in elementary music classrooms. The curriculum includes both traditional and contemporary approaches to music education. Field Experiences in local public schools begin in the candidate’s second year and continue through a full semester of student teaching. Many candidates also gain additional teaching experience by working with local church choirs, marching bands, and community groups. As Music Majors, candidates are eligible to participate in the full range of ensembles offered by Georgia Southern University.
A unique partnership is available to GSU Music Education Majors and students in grades 4-12 who attend the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County. The children come to the Music Department two afternoons a week to receive lessons in guitar or world percussion. Over thirty adolescents participated in lessons in the program’s first year, learning chord progressions, basic theory, world drumming techniques, instrument care, and ensemble performance skills. The students debuted their musical skills with a public performance at ArtsFest and a formal Recital in April 2013. This program is funded by The Sylvia and William Gretsch Memorial Foundation.
The M.M. in Music Education fosters creativity and proficiency in the teaching and learning of music at all levels. Graduate students build on their existing knowledge and experience through advanced study in band, choral, or orchestral repertoire; effective teaching; conducting; philosophy; world music; motivation; and learning. Students have the flexibility to choose courses or performance opportunities directly related to their own interests. A final capstone project is developed with a faculty mentor and may be in the form of educational materials, behavioral research, or a thesis.
The majority of graduate music courses are offered on campus, enabling students to interact directly with faculty and their peers. Part-time students frequently keep their ‘day job’ as teachers in nearby schools. Full-time students are eligible to apply for a number of Graduate Assistantships available in the Music Department. They may also apply to teach with The Sylvia and William Gretsch Memorial Foundation Boys & Girls Clubs of Bulloch County Music Education Partnership.