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Music Education

  • Available as major (B.Mus. degree)
    At Olivet, you can receive the training and experiences to properly qualify for a position as a teacher or supervisor of music in the public schools.

  • Our program meets the requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education and of the Illinois Limited State Special Certificate, which qualifies you to teach and supervise music in grades K-12.

    Choose from one of two tracks: 

    • General/instrumental 
    • General/vocal

    Degree requirements

     Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the difference between the instrumental and vocal tracks?

    The difference is reflected in a few of the courses that are required. Students who decide to follow the vocal track are required to take two diction courses along with a few courses that emphasize choral literature and conducting. Students who decide to follow the instrumental track are required to take instrumental method classes along with a few courses that emphasize instrumental literature and conducting. The track that a student is placed in depends on the applied area (voice or an instrument) that the student chooses to study privately.

    If I follow the instrumental track, can I only teach band? What if I want to teach both band and chorus?

    No matter which track you decide on, you will be certified to teach both band and chorus, along with general music and basic theory classes.

    I don’t play the piano; is that a problem?

    Yes and no. All music majors and minors are required to pass piano proficiency. Students with previous piano experience have a definite advantage in preparing for this step. However, several beginning and intermediate piano classes are available to help students who have little or no piano background prepare for the piano proficiency exam. 

    Do I have to do a solo recital?

    Yes. All music majors are required to do a senior recital. Music Education majors are required to present a thirty minute recital on their applied instrument either first or second semester of their senior year. Music students are also required to perform a single piece on one of the several student recitals during the semester. Don’t worry! You’re applied teacher will help you select an appropriate piece when the time comes.

    Preparing you for your career in education

    Before your student teaching experience, you will complete between 100 to 130 hours of field experiences.

    Our National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is an organization to help you do additional “educational service” activities each academic year. NAfME empowers you and other future music educators to invest in the lives of the next generation. Through professional and social activities, you will bond with other music education students, faculty and educators who are already working in their chose careers.

    Your student teaching assignment gives you experience in taking on more responsibilities for directing the learning activities of a group of students in a “real-world” classroom. The minimum time is 60 full official school days. You will be supervised by a classroom teacher, the principal of the school, and the University Supervisor. A faculty member will observe you on site. This is a time for you to grow, learn and develop as a teacher.

    For more information

    This is a brief over view of what the School of Education and School of Music offer to students.

    For more detailed information about procedures and requirements for prospective teachers, go to the online catalog.

    For more information about the School of Music, call 815-939-5110 or email

    Music Education is part of the School of Music and the School of Education.