Bachelor of Music (Music Education)

The Bachelor of Music (Music Education) degree is intended primarily as a professional training course for students wishing to become music teachers in a school environment. The music education degree course meets requirements of professional bodies responsible for the accreditation of school music teachers.

In New South Wales the major employer of school music teachers is the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC), which stipulates specific musical and pedagogical skills and knowledge for a teacher to be certified as employable in departmental schools and other systems such as non government and Catholic systemic schools.

In addition to music teaching methods, music history and analysis, performance and compositional skills and knowledge, students must have attained information and communication technology competencies and have developed an understanding of children with special educational needs.

A significant component (80-86 days) of the course must include practical teaching experience in schools. Graduating teachers also need to meet the Teaching Standards of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) under the jurisdiction of the New South Wales Institute of Teachers, a professional body responsible for accreditation of all NSW teachers working in schools. Graduating teachers need to demonstrate knowledge of subject content, pedagogy (including learning, teaching and evaluation strategies), NSW curriculum requirements and the needs of socially, culturally, ethnically, physically and intellectually diverse groups of students in schools.

In order to satisfy these requirements, the Music Education degree has a large core of mandated music education units of study. The major focus is on developing teaching skills through studies in education, music education, ensemble pedagogy and music technology.

Students undertake extended Professional Experience sessions in schools supported by both school teachers and experienced music education lecturers from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Music Education specialists also develop practical, compositional, or research skills by taking a minimum of four semesters of Principal Study in an instrument, voice, composition or musicology. Students also take part in large ensembles (eg, Choir, Wind Symphony, Early Music Ensemble) and other performance units. All students take core studies in aural perception and harmony (or jazz music skills for jazz students), studies in analysis, history and culture, and music technology.

Principal study is available in the following areas:
  • Brass: Horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba
  • Composition
  • Historical Performance: baroque flute, harpsichord, lute, recorder, viola da gamba, baroque trumpet
  • Jazz: bass, drums, electric guitar, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, vocal
  • Musicology
  • Organ
  • Percussion
  • Piano
  • Strings: cello, double bass, guitar, harp, viola, violin
  • Vocal Studies: classical
  • Woodwind: bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe, saxophone
Core requirements for graduation with a Bachelor of Music (Music Education)

Students must successfully complete 192 credit points and reach the minimum levels of achievement in each area as outlined in the degree resolutions.

Typical enrolment patterns

Students should follow the typical enrolment patterns appropriate to their specialisation. Students are required to ensure the award course is to be completed within four years full-time or equivalent.