College of Arts and Letters2021-2022

School of Music

Music Secondary Education, Bachelor of Music Education

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Bachelor of Music Education Program at Northern Arizona University is to prepare the next generation of music educators with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for success in the teaching profession.  Students develop a strong background in music and musicianship through the development of technical and musical skills and emotional dispositions including aspects of performance, the ability to play a variety of musical instruments, critical analysis of music, and an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of Western and non-Western Music. Upon that foundation, students develop proficiency in aspects of teaching,  such as planning instruction, applying different instructional strategies, and evaluating learner progress and practice these skills through their work with elementary and secondary school students. Northern Arizona University students who complete this program become teacher candidates in Music Education which prepares them for a wide range of further educational and vocational activities that include music as a component.  Students are prepared for further study at the graduate and/or professional level.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students receiving an undergraduate degree in music will demonstrate:  

  1. Continuing Musical Growth and Independence in the following ways:
  • Applying performance skills on his/her principal instrument or voice
  • Demonstrate technical aptitude on his/her principal instrument or voice
  • Perform individually and in ensembles of different types
  • Investigating specific repertoire
  • Exercise and defend aesthetic judgment by recognizing and interpreting appropriate literature. 
  1. Application of Musicianship Skills in performance, teaching and/or critical analysis of music including:
  • Aural Perception
  • Sight-singing
  • Dictation
  • Keyboard Competency appropriate to the students’ degree program and satisfactory progress in Music Theory
  • Composition or Improvisation. 
  1. Analysis of and the ability to apply understanding to enhance students’ performance, teaching, and/or critical analysis of Tonal and Post-Tonal Musical Works and Topics through discussion of the following elements of music:
  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Counterpoint
  • Rhythm and Meter
  • Form
  • Timbre 
  1. Knowledge of the Historical and Cultural Contexts of Western and non-Western Music including:
  • Characteristics of musical styles,
  • Compositional techniques
  • Performance practices
  • Societal and cultural influences on the creation, performance, and dissemination of music. 
  1. Knowledge and Application of Research Materials, Critical Thinking Skills, and Writing Skills
  • Basic knowledge and appropriate application of primary and secondary research materials pertaining to music,
  • Effectively communicate in writing on topics in the field of music through the purposeful use of evidence, insightful reasoning (critical thinking), and supporting details. 
  1. Synthesis of Learning Experiences
  • Synthesize understanding of musical forms, processes, and structures in compositional, performance, analytical, scholarly and pedagogical applications appropriate to the degree program.
  • Employ multiple areas of learning within music and, ideally, disciplines outside music through a capstone project or culminating experience.
  • Students develop a background in music and musicianship that prepares them for a wide range of further educational and vocational activities that include music as a component. 
Teaching (general): Executable knowledge of philosophies and pedagogies specific to teaching general music, choral music, and/or instrumental music K-12 settings, including: (EPS 340, MUS 200, 308, 353, 455, 457, 495C)
  • Planning instruction that supports students in meeting learning objectives by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum design, and cross-disciplinary skills.
  • Applying a variety of instructional strategies in order that learners may develop a deep understanding of content areas for the purpose of applying that understanding in meaningful ways.
  • Utilizing multiple methods of assessment to monitor learner progress, to guide lesson planning, and to engage learners in their own growth. 
Child Development: An ability to synthesize theories of child development into lesson plans and course designs, including: (EPS 340, MUS 200, 308, 353, 455, 457, 495C)
  • Understanding how learners grow and develop.
  • Recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas.
  • Designing and implementing developmentally appropriate music learning experiences. 
Diversity (students and classroom settings): Aptitudes for teaching diverse sets of students in a variety of classroom settings, including: (MUS 200, 308, 353, 455, 457, 495C and BME 437)
  • Assessing aptitudes, experiential backgrounds, and interests of individual learners and groups of learners and tailoring lesson plans accordingly.
  • Working to create environments that encourage positive social interaction and active engagement in learning.
  • Applying theories related to individual and cultural differences to lesson planning, with the goal of creating inclusive learning environments.
  • Arranging and adapting music for divergent classroom environments and student abilities. 
Skills: Proficiencies in conducting and playing the keyboard as well as in using instruments, equipment, and technologies associated with their area of specialization*, including: (MUP 107, 108, 109, 110, 201, 202, 207, 208, 209, 210, 311, 380, 470, 431, 433/435)
  • Demonstrating skills in rehearsal techniques; acquiring communicative and expressive conducting technique; and leading performance-based instruction.
  • Acquiring advanced keyboard skills such as scales, triads, seventh chords; progression and resolution of the diatonic and chromatic chords; harmonization of melodies; transposition of chord progressions to different keys; arpeggios.
  • Students graduating with a Choral emphasis will become proficient in diction and choral conducting, enhanced by private lessons in conjunction with vocal ensemble experiences.
  • Students graduating with an Instrumental emphasis will become proficient in instrumental conducting and techniques in teaching woodwinds, percussion, brass, and strings, enhanced by private lessons in conjunction with instrumental ensemble experiences. 
Policies and Trends:
  • Executable knowledge of organizational procedures, policies, and current trends/changes specific to music teaching and learning in K-12 settings. (MUS 308, 490) 
Commitment to the Field: A commitment to the art of music, including: (MUS 455, 457, 490, 495C)
  • Inspiring students to want to understand and make music.
  • Advocating on behalf of music’s place in K-12 curricula.
  • Remaining current in the field of music education.


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