Reply To: Masters in Ed vs. Music Ed

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Christine Nowmos added:

I got my masters in music ed, and I learned SO much in my coursework that I did not learn as part of my undergraduate program. Depending on the school, you can tailor your degree to fit your personal teaching situation or interests – for example, West Chester U. where I got my masters has an option of choosing a concentration in Kodaly or Orff methodology, technology, research, applied performance, etc. – you have the bulk of your credits in the area of your choosing, depending on what you think you would use most in your teaching area, plus a few required courses that all masters in music ed. students must take and room for a few electives. Even the required courses were personally/professionally beneficial – the research techniques course gave us info specifically about music ed journals and periodicals and what would be the best means of choosing a research topic that would benefit our teaching situation (I don’t know if a prof who had never taught music would be able to give guidance that would be as helpful); the philosophy course dealt with philosophy of teaching music and different approaches (which can get a lot more specific than a general overall education course might); and current trends course dealt with issues in music education (and the professor was able to gear projects towards stuff that we as music teachers said we had concerns about in our current jobs, and we were able to share strategies as music teachers–so it was topics that benefited the majority of the students rather than more general topics that really weren’t of specific help to anybody). If I’d taken just a general masters in ed course, I don’t know that I would have gotten nearly as much out of it– and there’s nothing I hate more than doing a lot of work towards something that I’m not going to able to really use. I would not be as good a teacher as I am today if I missed out on the 18 credits of Kodaly methodology that I took as part of my MM in Music Ed. If I’d gone for a M.Ed., I might only have been able to take a couple of those classes. It took me 6 years and was totally worth it–I’d definitely do it again, no matter how long it took (though, the university did give us a 6 year limit for completing the degree!).