Professor teaching clarinet

Welcome to Music Education at KU

Cultivating a transformative educational experience focused on music education best practice, scholarly research, social awareness, and community-oriented leadership.

Our faculty and students

  1. Work together to achieve the highest quality of music teacher preparation in the areas of choral, band, strings and general music through carefully sequenced curricula, projects, and authentic pedagogical experiences. 

  2. Further diversity, equity, and a strong sense of community.

  3. Develop a community-oriented mindset as we develop as teachers, professionals, scholars, and leaders in our field.

  4. Advance music education through research and scholarly activity.


Since 1884, the University of Kansas has offered training in music education to the Kansas community. Today, Music Education at KU is recognized globally as among the finest music teacher training and research programs. The program offers comprehensive coursework in band, orchestral, choral, and general music education at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. Our faculty of experienced music educators and researchers work closely with students to develop the skills and knowledge needed to become successful musicians, educators, scholars, and leaders in their communities.

Music Education at KU is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges (NCA), and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as part of the school of education’s licensure track.

Undergraduate BME Program

The undergraduate Bachelor's in Music Education, or BME degree program prepares students to teach K-12 music (choral, band, strings, and general music) in school music programs at the state, national, and international levels. Completion of the program leads to a BME degree, as well as eligibility for licensure to teach  PreK-12 Music in Kansas and other reciprocating states. This program typically requires eight semesters of full-time work including a semester of student teaching and internship in the public schools.

      Areas of Instruction in Music Education

      Students playing Clarinet


      Band Pedagogy includes woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments. Ensembles experiences include the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, University Band, Marching Band, basketball and other athletic bands, jazz ensembles, and chamber ensembles.
      Student with Cello


      String Pedagogy includes violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Large ensembles include the Symphony Orchestra, University Orchestra, Vespers Orchestra, and chamber ensembles.
      Glee Club

      Vocal and Choral

      Vocal and Choral Pedagogy involves choristers interested in teaching choral ensembles or in vocal studios. Ensembles include Concert Choir, Bales Choir, KU Glee Club, Treble Choir, and University Singers.
      four students playing guitar, piano, ukulele, and marimba

      General Music

      General Music involves music educators who teach the basics of musical knowledge, understanding, and skill through experience. Large choral ensembles are specified according to the students primary instrument.
      Philip Kaul

      “The Music Education program at KU is second to none. It has world-class faculty at every position, all extraordinarily committed to the success of their students. The opportunities that I have gotten as a student have been incredibly challenging and rewarding, and I wouldn’t have gotten them anywhere else.”

      Philip Kaul
      Assistant Director of Bands, De Soto HS (BME '16, MME '21)

      Graduate Programs

      Graduate programs in music education are advanced professional and scholarly degrees. Completion of the program leads to either a Master's in Music Education (MME-ME) or the Doctor in Philosophy in Music Education (PhD-ME).

      • The MME-ME requires a minimum of 30 credits of coursework, and is designed to further the student's knowledge, practice, and experience in their respective area(s).

      • The PhD-ME recommends approximately 60 credits of coursework emphasizing research, scholarship, and pedagogy. It is designed for music educators pursuing the highest level of academic and pedagogical study within music education. Course requirements are flexible to meet the specifications of the student's anticipated career. 

      Music Education Awards & Recognition

      • The Marcus E. Hahn Award

        The Marcus E. Hahn Award recognizes a music education senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship, musicianship, and teaching skill.

      • KU Annual Outstanding Music Educator Award

        The KU Outstanding Music Educator Award recognizes alumni of the KU music education program who have gone on to demonstrate leadership, scholarship, musicianship, and teaching skill in their respective fields of music education.

      University Awards & Recognition

      • KU Teacher of Promise

        The KU Teacher of Promise recognizes two teacher-education candidates university-wide who demonstrate 1) innovation, creativity, professionalism, and the potential to be an effective classroom teacher, and 2) community service efforts in their field.