2013-14 Catalogs

MM in Music Education

Program Advisor: Michele Kaschubkaschub@usm.maine.edu

The music education program is designed to be completed in three summers with the exception of the Seminar in Music History and Seminar in Music Theory, which will be offered as evening courses during the academic year. There is no residency requirement.

Requires a minimum of 32 credit hoursCredits
     MUS 520 Seminar in Music History3
     MUS 530 Seminar in Music Theory3
     MUE 611 Introduction to Research in Music Education3
     MUE 612 Philosophical Bases of Music Education3
     MUE 613 Psychology of Music Teaching and Learning3
     MUE 614 Curriculum Development and Assessment3
     MUE 615 The Professional Portfolio or MUS 695 Thesis2
     Electives–Any MUS, MUP, or MUE 500- or 600-levelcourses9

Music Education Professional Portfolio Requirements: All students entering the master's program in music education are required to develop and maintain a portfolio based on their master's degree experiences. Portfolios are a way to focus on higher order thinking processes such as finding and solving problems, generating hypotheses, determining adaptations and applications, and relating learning to larger contexts. Furthermore, portfolios function as an extraordinary tool for increasing the efficiency of learning as each entry represents not only accomplishment, but directions for future study.

As such, portions of the portfolio may be viewed at various points throughout the program as individual components are created within core music education courses. The portfolio will be presented in its totality during the final oral examination.

The portfolio will be comprised of three sections:

  • Oral Examination
    The oral examination will be scheduled through the coordinator of graduate studies within the School of Music. The student will present the milestones and domain project portions of the portfolio to the examination committee as the capstone experience of the degree program.
  • Milestones
    The milestones portion of the portfolio is designed to encourage students to reflect on all coursework completed as part of the master's program. Students are encouraged to review all coursework and identify three experiences that have been particularly meaningful in shaping a personal understanding of music or music education and in influencing future study and practice. Students should create a one- to two-page description of each milestone and be prepared to discuss the significance of the milestones with the oral examination committee.
  • Domain Projects
    In this section student are encouraged to draw upon their experiences within the master of music program to create a set of question and essay projects that evidence knowledge from three different domains of study. Each domain project is organized as a ten- to fifteen-page answer to a question designed by the student in conjunction with their major advisor. Questions should be created and approved during the second summer of study for students following the three-summer master's plan.
         Question One must cover some topic related to one or more of the four core music education courses. Question Two must draw on MUE 595 coursework and relate to the student's area of professional emphasis (i.e., general music, choral music, instrumental music, technology, composition, conducting, etc.). Question Two material must relate to at least one MUE 595 course and may relate to other coursework as well. Question Three will address a topic that is of particular interest to the student and which demonstrates the student's ability to apply knowledge gained in the master of music program to good teaching practice. Each project should be thoroughly researched, organized, and presented in a professional manner.
Music Education Thesis Requirements

Students completing thesis work as the capstone project for the M.M. in Music Education degree will formulate a research plan with the program advisor.

Information for Matriculated Students

Graduate Competency Exams

All incoming School of Music graduate students must pass competency exams in music theory/ear training and music history and literature prior to enrollment in MUS 530 Seminar in Music Theory and MUS 520 Seminar in Music History. These exams will be graded pass/fail. Each exam may be taken no more than three times. Students unable to pass after three attempts must withdraw from the program.

Special Requirements and Standards

All music graduate programs must be completed within six years from the date of matriculation.

Students must maintain a B average in all course work and must have no grade lower than B-. Students who receive grades lower than B- will be reviewed for retention in the graduate program

Each program requires that students demonstrate mastery in their primary area of study. Master of Music in music education students meet this requirement through the preparation of a professional portfolio or thesis.

The following conditions will apply to all portfolio and thesis projects:

  • Portfolio or thesis work will follow the successful completion of the comprehensive exams
  • Grading of the portfolio or thesis will be by a committee of no less than two jurors. The jurors will be drawn from the graduate faculty and the degree candidate's graduate advisor.
  • The candidate must receive a grade of B or higher on the portfolio or thesis. If the grade of B is not achieved, the candidate must revise the project document. If the grade of B or higher is not achieved in this revision, the candidate must petition the faculty to remain in the degree program.
Transfer credit

Six graduate credits may be transferred to USM from another NASM-accredited college or university.

Admissions credit

Additionally no more than six graduate credits for work earned at USM in the five years prior to matriculation may be credited to the master's degree.


The music education program is designed to be completed in three summers with the exception of the Seminar in Music History and Seminar in Music Theory, which will be offered as evening courses during the academic year. There is no residency requirement.

Exit Requirements

Students are required to assemble a Professional Portfolio (MUE 615) or Thesis (MUE 695) as a capstone project for the degree.

Contact the USM Office of Graduate Admissions for an application and instructions. Visit Graduate Admissions online at: http://usm.maine.edu/graduateadmissions.

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An application form.
  • The application fee.
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work.
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music education
  • Music education applicants submit additional materials in lieu of an audition.

Applicants in music education must submit:

  • A video recording that contains a ten- to -fifteen-minute teaching sequence from a classroom or rehearsal setting. Videotapes of concert performances will not be accepted.
  • A written, critical analysis of the teaching episode on the video recording.
  • An essay of 1,000 words on a current topic in music education.
Music Audition

There is no audition for music education. Once the Office of Graduate Admissions application is complete, the music education program advisor and the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.