Music Education

The program helps students develop specific skills in planning and delivering instruction in all types of music education classrooms. The curriculum emphasizes both the theoretical and practical elements of human behavior, musical and otherwise, and integrates with this core a variety of learning experiences that prepare the pre-service teacher for the classroom medium. Among these is a broad spectrum of learning experiences both at KU and in area classrooms. These include planning and delivering instruction, classroom management, conducting, assessment, and curriculum design. Within the curriculum, individual emphases are reflected in the choice of major performance medium and performance ensembles. The goal of the music education curriculum is to prepare the student for success in the profession.


Students admitted to music education will be assigned an appropriate academic faculty advisor to work with the student throughout his or her academic career. The undergraduate handbook is available online and from the MEMT office, 448 Murphy Hall and provides detailed procedures, suggestions, and specifications.

Regardless of applied performance medium, each entering student should be able to sing independently, in tune, and with acceptable tone quality. Functional keyboard skills (accompanying, playing by ear, improvising, and transposing) are helpful. Experience working with others is also beneficial as well. Well-developed interpersonal skills are an asset.

Music Education Program

This program provides full preparation for entry into the profession. It leads to the Bachelor of Music Education and eligibility for licensure to teach vocal, instrumental, and general music in grades pre-K through 12 in the state of Kansas. The program typically requires eight semesters of full-time work, which includes a semester of student teaching and internship in the public schools.

Music Teacher Licensure Program

Teacher licensure in Kansas is a function of the Kansas State Board of Education. Individuals who complete an approved music teacher licensure program are recommended to the state for licensure in music for grades pre-K through 12. Students must meet additional state requirements, such as passing specified standardized tests, before licenses are granted. Contact the licensure officer, 211 J.R. Pearson Hall, 785-864-9602, for information.


Students must meet or exceed the School of Music academic admission requirements and successfully complete a major performance medium audition to be admitted. Students should declare the B.M.E. in music education as the major on the KU application for admission. Music education majors are in plan ME-BME in the School of Music.

Students pursuing the music education B.M.E. must apply for admission to the professional sequence by the first Monday in February of the sophomore year. Transfer students with more than 45 hours of transfer credit must complete this application the first semester of classes at KU. Students may not enroll in courses in the professional sequence before formal approval by the director of music education. Music education majors who have been admitted to the professional sequence are in plan MEPS-BME in the School of Music.

Students must be admitted to the music education professional sequence to enroll in upper-division music education courses. See the Music Education Undergraduate Program Handbook online for details.

No student may be admitted to the music education professional sequence for a semester during which he or she is on academic probation. The application form for music education professional sequence admission is available on the MEMT website.

Ensemble Policy

In order to remain enrolled in studio instruction (lessons), all undergraduate (B.A. & B.M.) and M.M. students who enroll in any level of studio instruction (including nonmajor levels) in band and orchestral instruments must audition for and perform as assigned in a major instrumental ensemble1 each semester in which they are enrolled. For music majors, 1 ensemble taken for credit each semester is required for graduation. Exceptions to this policy are allowed on a case-by-case basis and only by the ensemble conductor in consultation with the faculty member in the studio area or the faculty advisor in music therapy as appropriate.

Undergraduate Admission to the School of Music

First-year students should enter the school directly. Students may transfer to the school from other institutions or from other KU schools if they have at least a 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and are eligible to return to the college or university last attended in addition to completing a successful audition. Other students can be admitted only with the permission of the dean. Send applications to the Office of Admissions. Visit the Office of International Recruitment and Undergraduate Admissions for information about international admissions.

Students who wish to major in music must audition. All music students academically approved for admission to the School of Music are admitted contingent upon demonstration by audition of satisfactory level proficiency in their areas of applied music. Music audition information and application forms are available online.  There is a limit of two times a prospective student may request an audition for entrance into one of the School's undergraduate degree programs.  The second request must be within 12 months of the first and may be as early as 1 month following the first audition.  The limitation also applies to students within the School auditioning from one program into another.

Transfer Students

Students may transfer to the school from other institutions or from other KU schools if they have at least a 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), are eligible to return to the college or university last attended, and complete a successful audition. Only grades of C or higher are accepted in transfer credit toward degrees offered by the School of Music. Students who wish to transfer performance credit from another institution toward any music degree at KU must validate this credit by audition. Music audition information and application forms are available online.  There is a limit of two times a prospective student may request an audition for entrance into one of the School's undergraduate degree programs.  The second request must be within 12 months of the first and may be as early as 1 month following the first audition.  The limitation also applies to students within the School auditioning from one program into another.

Music Theory Placement

The music theory placement examination is required of all undergraduate transfer students who have not completed a 4-semester theory sequence with an accredited NASM school. It is administered as announced on the School of Music website each semester.


The Music Education Teacher Licensure Curriculum

The B.M.E. degree requires a minimum of 120 semester credit hours distributed among general studies, the major, professional education class work, and student teaching and internship. The degree requires at least a 3.00 cumulative grade-point average in all course work. Each student must participate in appropriate performing ensembles and demonstrate proficiency in a major applied performance medium and in other performance areas.

General Education Requirements (28 hours)

Language Arts and Communication
ENGL 101Composition3
ENGL 102Critical Reading and Writing (or other approved options: ENGL 105, ENGL 203, ENGL 205, ENGL 209, ENGL 210, ENGL 211.)3
Behavioral and Social Sciences
PSYC 104General Psychology3
College of Lib Arts & Sciences - elective (SOC/ANTH elective recommended)3
College of Lib Arts & Sciences - elective3
College of Lib Arts & Sciences - elective3
Natural Sciences and Mathematics
BIOL 100Principles of Biology3
BIOL 102Principles of Biology Laboratory1
MATH 101College Algebra3
Mathematics elective (MATH 101 prerequisite; MATH 105, MATH 115, MATH 365 are approved options)3

Professional Education/Music Education (23 hours)

MEMT 160Principles of Music Education1
MEMT 250Human Musical Learning and Development2
SPED 326Teaching Exceptional Children and Youth in General Education3
C&T 359Literacy in the Content Areas1
MEMT 407The Exceptional Child in Music Education2
MEMT 419PreK-12 Music Curriculum1
MEMT 420Teaching Elementary and Secondary General Music3
MEMT 450Teaching Choral Music2
MEMT 451Teaching Instrumental Music2
MEMT 455Psychology of Music3
Select one of the following as appropriate:1
Advanced General Music Teaching
Choral Diction for Music Educators
Approaches to String Pedagogy
Marching Band Techniques
Select one of the following (TBD w/Advisor)1
Performance Media: Voice (non-VOIC Emphasis )
Performance Media: Guitar
Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Non-traditional Ensemble
Jazz Techniques
_____ Or, any above courses not required can be taken as an elective credit.

Student Teaching and Internship (6-12 hours)

MEMT 498Student Teaching2-4
MEMT 499Internship in Teaching Music4-8

Performance Requirements (37-40 hours)

Major Instrument
121 Applied music lessons (2 semesters)4
221 Applied music lessons (2 semesters) 4
321 Applied music lessons (2 semesters)4
422 Senior project lessons (1 semester)2
Ensemble (7 semesters, 7 hours)
7 hours of credit representing 7 semesters of participation, including experience in small ensembles. Wind and Percussion: 1 semester/1 credit marching band required. Vocal: 6 semesters/6 credits major ensemble and 1 semester/1 credit small ensemble required.7
Piano Skills
An audition is required. If skills are insufficient, remedial course work (PIAN 144) is necessary. Students with a major performance medium of piano or organ take only PIAN 310.2-5
Elementary Keyboard Skills II
Intermediate Keyboard Skills I
Intermediate Keyboard Skills II
Advanced Keyboard Skills
Performance Techniques6
Performance Media: Brass
Performance Media: Woodwinds I
Performance Media: Percussion
Performance Media: Strings
Vocal Pedagogy
Conducting/Rehearsal Skills
MEMT 230Performance Clinic: Band1
MEMT 231Performance Clinic: Choral1
MEMT 232Performance Clinic: Orchestra1
MEMT 246Fundamentals of Conducting1
MEMT 330Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Band1
MEMT 331Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Choral1
MEMT 332Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Orchestra1
Select one of the following:1
Advanced Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Band
Advanced Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Choral
Advanced Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Orchestra

Basic Musicianship Requirements (28 hours)

Music Theory and Composition
MTHC 105Theory I3
MTHC 106Aural Skills I1
MTHC 115Theory II3
MTHC 116Aural Skills II1
MTHC 205Theory III4
MTHC 315Theory IV4
MUSC 320Music History I3
MUSC 340Music History II3
MUSC 440Music History III3
MUSC 480Music History IV3
Recital Attendance
REC 100Laboratory in Music Performance (4 semesters)0

Music Education 4 Year Plan

Music Education majors are strongly encouraged to adhere to this sequence of courses.

Students with no prior piano experience should take the keyboard skills sequence (PIAN 144-PIAN 288). Demonstration of skills is needed to pass or test out of PIAN 144-PIAN 288. Students whose major performance medium is piano or organ should take PIAN 310 after completing 2 semesters of music theory (this course is only taken once in the fall term of the sophomore year).

  • F = Fall only
  • S = Spring only
  • B = Both semesters
MTHC 105 (F)3MTHC 115 (S)3
MTHC 106 (F)1MTHC 116 (S)1
MEMT 160 (F)11121 Studio lessons12
MEMT 113 (B)11Ensemble11
MEMT 118 (B)11REC 100 (B)10
121 Studio lessons12PIAN 148 (S)1
Ensemble 11ENGL 102 (or other approved options: ENGL 105, ENGL 203, ENGL 205, ENGL 209, ENGL 210, ENGL 211. (B)13
REC 10010College of Lib Arts & Sciences - elective SOC/ANTH (S) (B)3
PIAN 144 (remedial, F)1MATH elective (prerequisite MATH 101; approved options: MATH 105, MATH 115, MATH 365) (B)3
ENGL 101 (B)13 
MATH 101 (or higher) (B)13 
 17 17
MTHC 205 (F)4MTHC 315 (S)4
MEMT 114 (B)11MEMT 115 (B)11
Select one of the following:1Select one of the following:1
MEMT 232 (F)1MEMT 246 (B)11
MUSC 320 (F)13MEMT 250 (S)12
REC 1000REC 1000
Select one of the following:2PIAN 288 (S)2
PIAN 284 (or 310 which is only for piano or organ applied students, both F)1
221 Studio lessons2
221 Studio lessons12Ensemble 1
Ensemble 11MUSC 340 (S) 23
PSYC 104 (B)3 
 18 17
Total Hours 69
  • Students must apply for admission to the music education professional sequence upon completion of the first semester of their sophomore year.

Professional Sequence

Professional Sequence Admission Requirements

  1. Cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or higher.
  2. Grades of C or higher in MATH 101 and 6 hours of English as listed on the application.
  3. Satisfactory completion of "Criteria for Admission" courses as shown in the Application for Music Education Professional Sequence Admission.
  4. The student must write and attach a one-page essay (12-point font, double-spaced) to the application form that answers the following question: How will you advocate for school music programs in the community at large when you enter the classroom?
  5. A fully completed application form and associated documents must be submitted to the MEMT office in 448 Murphy Hall.
  6. The submitted copy must be single sided. Do not submit a copy with print on both sides of the page.
  • Transfer students with more than 45 hours of transfer credit must complete the professional sequence application during the first semester of classes at KU.
MEMT 330 (F)11MEMT 331 (B)11
MEMT 332 (F)11MEMT 41911
MEMT - Elective (check deg req sheet) select either fall or spring.1MEMT - Elective (check deg req sheet) select either fall or spring.0-0
MEMT 40811Select either MEMT 350 or MEMT 431 or both MEMT 352 and MEMT 4321-2
Ensemble 1
MEMT 350 (Wind and Percussion) (S)1
321 Studio lessons2
MEMT 431 (Choral) (S)1
MUSC 440 (F)3
MEMT 352 (Strings) (S)1
BIOL 100 (B)3
MEMT 432 (Strings) (S)1
BIOL 102 (B)1MEMT 420 (S)13
SPED 326 (B)13Ensemble 1
 321 Studio lessons2
 MUSC 480 (S)3
 C&T 359 (S)11
 College of Lib Arts & Sciences - elective3
 17 16-17
Total Hours 33-34
  • Choose, only 1 of 4 required (MEMT 421, 431, 432, 435).
  • Choose, only 1 of 3 required (MEMT 350, 351, 352).
  • If taking MEMT 350 must also take MEMT 435; if taking MEMT 351 must either take MEMT 421 or MEMT 431; if taking MEMT 352 must also take MEMT 432.
  • Students should request a graduation check from the School of Music Student Services Office approximately 1 year before their expected graduation date. Graduation checks before that time should occur with the student’s MEMT advisor.
MEMT 407 (F)12MEMT 498 (B)12-4
MEMT 450 (F)12MEMT 499 (B)14-8
MEMT 451 (F)12 
MEMT 455 (F)13 
Select one of the following as appropriate:1 
MEMT 351 (Vocal) (F)1
MEMT 421 (General) (F) 1
MEMT 435 (Wind and Percussion) (F)1
422 Senior Project lessons2 
College of Lib Arts & Sciences - elective 3 
 16 6-12
Total Hours 22-28
  • Students must do the following during the final semester
    – register to take the PLT (Principles of Learning and Teaching) test
    – register to take the Praxis II Music Content test during the final semester
    – check their degree requirement check sheet to see that they have met all of the graduation requirements
  • Students must do the following before graduation:
    – submit an application for graduation online through Enroll and Pay at the beginning of their last semester
    – successfully complete their major applied instrument (422) including the senior 1/2 recital