Music Education

For more than 60 years, the Department of Music Education has been at the forefront in preparing successful music educators at every instructional level. A national leader in music education, the department is home to a highly successful and visible faculty, degree programs of extraordinary quality and diversity, and one of the top PhD programs in the world. The department is dedicated to providing future music educators with the necessary knowledge, skills, and insights for successful teaching and learning, and has a 100 percent job placement rate for graduates seeking positions in music education.

The School of Music, Theatre & Dance is uniquely positioned to offer students the opportunity for world class performance experiences while simultaneously supplying high quality and rigorous preparation in acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills, and insights to be successful teachers. The curricula for teacher certification trains and prepares superior musician-teachers who make lasting impressions in the lives of young students. Undergraduates may also choose a course of study that supplements a performance degree with teacher certification. The music education department is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) for Music Education.

Graduate programs focus on both the research and the practice of teaching. Designed for professional music educators, the master’s degree programs interweave research and practice, allowing students to reflect on and apply knowledge and experiences from coursework to their professional teaching. These programs can be completed either during the academic year or during three summer semesters.

The PhD program prepares scholars, researchers, and leaders for positions in music teacher education, music education research, P-12 music teaching and leadership, and music education policy. Alumni of our masters and PhD programs are scholars, researchers, and leaders in music education at many top national universities.

The University of Michigan is renowned for developing excellence. Combining the focus and rigor of a conservatory with the academic breadth and depth of a major public research university, an SMTD education is a transformative experience. Students receive a comprehensive program of instruction, performance, and pedagogy, along with academic opportunities made possible through the University’s vast spectrum of top-rated programs. The School fosters innovation, values diversity and inclusion, and graduates fully-engaged citizens who are eager to make a difference in their field and community.

The Michigan music education department is committed to producing the finest music educators: creative, engaged, and prepared for the real-world demands of the classroom. Faculty members are preeminent researchers representing diverse fields of study, dedicated to supporting the interests of their undergraduate and graduate students.

David Wolff (MM '12, music education)


Whether in local schools, arts organizations, or abroad, young people around the world are being taught by dedicated and creative pedagogues who have studied music education at SMTD.

JOEL SCHUT (BM ’09, music education) is the orchestra director at Okemos High School (MI) and a graduate of the YOA Orchestra for the Americas Global Leaders Fellowship program.

Here are just a few of our celebrated alumni:

Kathleen Bowling (BM ’06, music education) is the first full-time music teacher at Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School in New York City, the city’s first tuition-free, single-sex public charter school.

Kathryn Graham (BM ’12, music education) is the vocal and core music teacher for K-5 students at P.S 691, a public school located in the Bronx, NY.

Andrew McGuire (MM ’12, BM ’08, music education) is a music teacher at Sullivan High School, a Chicago public school.,

Drew Smith (BM ’11, music education) works at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

More alumni

Ways To Connect


734.764.0593 (SMTD Admissions)
734.763.5461 (Events Line)
734.764.2538 (SMTD/UMS Ticket Office)


Michael Hopkins (Chair)
Amanda Dihle, Administrative Assistant


Department of Music Education
Earl V. Moore Building
1100 Baits Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2075