Program accreditation
National Association of Schools of Music

Program goal

The Master of Music with a concentration in music education program at VCU is designed to provide the opportunity for advanced, graduate study for the practicing professional music educator. It is the goal of the Department of Music that successful graduates emerge as leaders and innovators in the profession.

The curricular goal of the program is to provide flexibility in addressing the individual pedagogical interests of each student as well as the framework and foundations needed for continued advanced study in music education at the doctoral level. As part of this design, the degree is offered exclusively as a three-summer program, with continuous enrollment required following admittance to degree candidacy (fall and spring semesters prior to third summer). This design provides a “real-world” option for the practicing music educator to enter graduate study.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Understand research in music education
  2. Understand current issues in music education
  3. Develop advanced pedagogical skills

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.M. Summer only Apr 1 None

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Baccalaureate degree in music or music education from an accredited institution
  2. Virginia teaching certification in PK-12 music education (or same from a reciprocal state)
  3. Written statement of personal philosophy of music education – used to assess thoughtful reflection on larger issues of the profession, ability to express thought in clearly written English and as diagnosis for specific deficiencies in this area
  4. Three letters of recommendation – must include letter from persons who have directly observed applicant’s teaching
  5. Interview with the director of music education

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, the Master of Music program requires a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours. The summer program is intended to be completed in three consecutive summer sessions and is structured into three cognate areas: music education, music pedagogy and professional education. Music education and music pedagogy cognate courses are offered on a rotating basis, with electives in music pedagogy developed and offered on an ongoing basis. This structure permits the student to enter the program at any given point in the sequence. The student will apply for degree candidacy following the completion of 18 credit hours. It is recommended that students enroll in eight to nine credit hours each summer. Final project credit hours are earned through online enrollment during the fall/spring semester and in residency during the final summer session following admittance to degree candidacy.

Curriculum requirements

Cognate areas

Music education
MUED 600Seminar in Music Education3
MUED 610Psychology of Music3
MUED 620Introduction to Research in Music Education3
Take three credits in the following course:3
Final Project in Music Education
Music pedagogy
Select a minimum of 12 credit hours from either the instrumental focus or choral focus areas:12
Instrumental focus:
Instrumental Conducting Techniques
Researching the Wind Band: Strategies and Resources
History and Literature of the Wind Band
Special Workshop in Music Education (MUED electives)
Topics in Music Education
Advanced Voice and Speech Pedagogy: Shakespeare
Choral focus:
Choral Conducting and Rehearsal Techniques
Choral Literature and Style
Teaching the Adolescent Singer
Special Workshop in Music Education (MUED electives)
Topics in Music Education
Professional education
A focus on areas of education of interest to student: to be determined by student and adviser, with adviser approval. May include the following:6
Child and Adolescent Development
Advanced Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers
Educational Measurement and Evaluation
Seminar on Educational Issues, Ethics and Policy
Urban Education
Public School Administration
Organizational Behavior and Change in Educational Settings
School Law
Other graduate-level School of Education offerings
Total Hours30

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 30

Graduate program director
David J. Greennagel, Ph.D.
Director of music education
djgreennagel@vcu.edu
(804) 828-8523

Additional contact
Department of Music
Admissions Office
apply4music@vcu.edu
(804) 828-1167

Program website: arts.vcu.edu/music/areas-of-study/music-education/graduate-program