Degree Program Requirements


The Master of Music Education degree at Gordon College emphasizes the improvement of music teaching skills.  All coursework is relevant to the music classroom and prepares the music educator to become more effective in aiding students' musical development.  While cognitive and academic areas are essential, this degree program fully embraces the importance of applying knowledge and theory to the practice and process of music teaching and learning.

The M.M.Ed. is a summers-only program and includes three (3) hours of Field-Based Teaching Experience or Thesis during the academic year (total 30 credits). Students who take a full course load each summer, up to nine (9) credits, may expect to complete the degree in three summers plus one year between the second and third summer to complete the Field-Based Experience Capstone. Courses meet for three weeks online in June, then continue in July with two weeks on campus in the classroom, suspend for a one-week mini-term during which workshops are offered for elective credit, and resume for two additional weeks on campus in the classroom.


I. Musicianship (11 credit hours)
GMU601 Graduate Music Theory Review* (0-1)
GMU602 Graduate Music History Review* (0-1)
GMU610 Analytical Techniques (2)
GMU612 Western Music (2)
GMU614 Non-Western Music (2)
GMU620 Lab Ensemble (1 credit for three summers) (3)
GMU616 Techniques of Conducting** (0-2), or
GMU618 Conducting Seminar (0-2)

II. Music Processing and Research (4 credit hours)
GMU624 Learning and Assessment in Music Education (2)
GMU630 Introduction to Behavioral Research (2)

III. Music Education (9 credit hours)
GMU 622 Foundations of Music Education (2)
GMU626 Curriculum Development in Music Education (2)
GMU628 Supervision and Administration
GMU682 Field-Based Experience or Thesis*** (3)

IV. Elective Options (minimum total of 6 elective credit hours required)
Choose from:
Workshops (1.5 credits per 2.5 days, 3 credits for full week) (0-6)
Workshops are offered during a one-week mini-term; choose from a variety of topics and clinicians, with varying offerings each summer.  

Instrumental and/or Choral Conducting Seminar (0-2)
General Music Seminar (0-2)
Applied Lessons (by transfer credit) (0-3)
Special Topics in Music**** (1 credit each) (0-3)
Ensembles (0-2)
Annual MMEA Conference/Boston (0-2)

Minimum Credit Hours: 30

*Hours taken for theory and history reviews do not count towards graduate credit.
**All students must take Techniques of Conducting unless waived by video audition at the time of application to the program. Students who complete Techniques of Conducting course their first summer may take Conducting Seminar as an elective during a subsequent summer.
***The Field Based Experience and Thesis are completed off campus during the academic school year in the student's own classroom with their own students.
****Electives in special topics are offered during the summer term and/or can be taken during the academic year. Course requirements are available from the Graduate Music Program Coordinator.



GMU601 Music Theory Review (1)
Reviews fundamentals of music theory: scales, chord structure, harmonic progression, modulation, etc. Required for students who do not pass the diagnostic exam during orientation.

GMU602 Music History Review (1)
Reviews major eras and compositional styles of music history. Required for students who do not pass the diagnostic exam during orientation.

GMU614 Non-Western Music (2)
Studies non-Western music as it applies to general music, choral, band and orchestral teaching across grade levels. A practical application of the discipline is employed.

GMU616 Techniques of Conducting (2)
Reviews basic conducting technique followed by more advanced skills. Required unless waived by video audition at the time of application to the program.

GMU620 Lab Ensemble (1)
Teaching lab with activities related to general music, chorus and band. Must be taken for three summers.  Lab ensembles are led by Advanced Conducting Seminar and General Music Seminar students, with hands-on guidance from faculty.

GMU622 Foundations of Music Education (2)
Focuses on history and philosophy of music education and development of strong rationale for music education.


GMU610 Analytical Techniques (2)
Explores advanced techniques in score analysis

GMU620 Lab Ensemble (1)

GMU624 Learning and Assessment in Music Education (2)
Studies learning theories, particularly Edwin Gordon's Music Learning Theory, and applications to teaching and learning for grades K-12. Practical, authentic assessment in music education is also studied.

GMU628 Supervision and Administration (2)
Explores clinical supervision and many facets of music leadership and management


GMU612 Western Music (2)
Studies musical masterpieces applicable to K-12 classrooms. Develops analytical tools for understanding compositional practices in major eras of Western art music.

GMU620 Lab Ensemble (1)

GMU626 Curriculum Development in Music Education (2)
Focuses on curriculum development as an evolving process. Writing curricula based on the national and state standards that develop psychomotor, cognitive and affective processes in teaching and learning.

GMU630 Introduction to Research (2)
Locating, reading, understanding and applying various genres of research to music classroom.


GMU618A Conducting Seminar: Instrumental (2)
Required to conduct lab band. Prerequisites: GMU616 (unless waived) and permission of the instructor.

GMU618B Conducting Seminar: Choral (2)
Required to conduct lab chorus. Prerequisites: GMU616 (unless waived) and permission of the instructor.

GMU619 General Music Seminar (2)
Required to teach general music in lab. Explores the relation of general music to national standards. Prerequisites: GMU614 and permission of instructor.

GMU5__Workshops (1.5–3 credits)
Summer workshop topics and clinicians vary each year. Visit for current summer term offerings and schedule of courses.


GMU682 Field-Based Teaching Experience (3)
Independent teaching practicum carried out in student's own classroom. Includes goal setting, mentoring, journaling and portfolio building. Detailed materials available from the program director.  Prerequisite: completion of second or third summer of coursework.

GMU690 Thesis (3)
Recommended for students considering doctoral program (Ph.D.). Independent exploration of topic chosen by student and approved by program director. Includes either qualitative or quantitative study in behavioral research. Requires some knowledge of statistics and strong writing and computer skills. Expect to spend a minimum of one full year completing a written thesis.

Elective Options Available During Academic Year: 
(minimum of 6 elective credits required for the degree program)

GMU671A MMEA All-State Conference (1)
Massachusetts Music Educators Association Members may receive one graduate credit toward their elective program requirements for attending the annual MMEA All-State Conference in March.  Contact hour documentation, proof of attendance and summary paper required.

Applied Music (1)
Students enrolled in the music education degree program may study applied music for graduate credit during the regular academic year. Up to 4 hours of applied credit may be used towards the degree as electives. Lessons are arranged individually and an audition may be required.

Music Ensembles (1)
Admission by audition. Representative music of each period of music history studied and performed. Minimum of three to five hours rehearsal and participation in all public appearances required.