Music Education (BME)

On Campus

Pursue your calling as a music educator while preparing to teach general music education, choral, or instrumental music to today’s youth. Study music history, music theory, conducting, and more with a music education degree from Indiana State.

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Why Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Indiana State?

Music teachers inspire students with their love of music even as they nurture their own musical talents and passions. If you enjoy playing and learning about music, and you want to make a positive impact on the next generation of young musicians and music lovers, earning your degree in Music Education can be a fulfilling and rewarding decision.

Teach Music to Today’s Youth

Learning music is the foundation of a well-rounded education. Music goes hand-in-hand with other academic classes, particularly language studies, mathematics, and history. Children who take music classes enhance their language capabilities, memorization level, hand-eye coordination, mental processing, problem-solving techniques, study habits, and teamwork skills.

You will choose between two concentrations – choral/general education or instrumental/general education – and our program prepares you to take Indiana’s kindergarten through 12th-grade teaching licensure exam. Our music education program prepares you to teach students with a focus on music theory, music history and literature, piano, musicianship, music technology, scoring, and conducting.  

You will also participate in performance ensembles, take private lessons in the School of Music’s designated rehearsal spaces, attend music concerts, and complete a music student teaching experience.

NOTE: In addition to Indiana State’s regular admission process, there is a separate admission process for a student to be admitted as a music education major.

Learn from Our Talented Faculty

Indiana State’s instructors are trained musicians and music scholars with experience as performers and educators. They regularly perform in orchestras and music ensembles. Faculty also mentor students as they learn about music, offering private music lessons and teaching essential education practices.

With smaller classes, you will have the chance to work one-on-one with your professors. They will help you develop lifelong learning and teaching skills. You will also have the chance to perform with faculty at music ensembles and for special events.

Perform in Our Ensembles

All majors in our School of Music must participate in music ensembles for at least seven semesters of their undergraduate degree. These ensembles provide opportunities for you to work with faculty, learn new music, gain performance experience, and perform alongside your peers.

Student ensembles and combos include brass, jazz, piano, percussion, string, and wind, plus several chorale groups, a women’s concert choir, a musical theater/opera workshop, and the University Symphony Orchestra.

Music majors are required to attend a specified number of concerts, recitals, and events in the annual Contemporary Music Festival, a three-day event held on Indiana State’s campus. Indiana State students perform alongside faculty and visiting guests including the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. 

What You'll Learn in the Music Education Program

The Bachelor of Music Education [BME] provides a solid foundation in all areas of teaching music in elementary, middle, and high school music classes. Our program features music history theory, music history and literature, piano, music technology, scoring, conducting, and education. You will develop a theoretical and practical capacity to teach music for any grade level.

Our program is enhanced by two semesters of music field experience courses, in which you will visit music classes at all grade levels and areas of music specialization to learn more about music education. You can complete our music education bachelor’s degree in four years of full-time study.


The music education program concludes with a semester-long student teaching assignment. You will be placed at two schools for hands-on music teaching experience at both primary and secondary levels. Your music faculty at Indiana State will provide direct supervision and you will receive invaluable guidance from cooperating music teachers.

In addition to your general music education classes, you will also declare a concentration for your BME in music.  

Music Education Concentrations

Learn the fundamentals of teaching vocal music at elementary, middle, and high school grade levels. This concentration is ideal for music majors interested in becoming choral teachers.

Courses focus on vocal pedagogy, choral conducting, vocal repertoire, and related subjects. Choral/general education music majors are often members of Masterworks Chorale, Sycamore Singers, University Chorale, and Women’s Choir music ensembles in the School of Music.

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Learn the fundamentals of teaching instrumental music at elementary, middle, and high school grade levels. This concentration is ideal for music majors interested in becoming band or orchestra teachers. Courses focus on brass, jazz, percussion, string, and woodwind instruments.

You will also learn how to conduct orchestras. Instrumental/general education music majors are often members of music ensembles in the School of Music.

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Transfer Credit

Indiana State University accepts credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities within the United States, and from selected schools located outside the United States. Credit also may be granted for military training and experience. Previously earned college credit can be applied toward completion of the program per Indiana State's transfer guidelines.

Transfer Guidelines

Career Possibilities for Music Education Majors

Your degree from Indiana State will qualify you to take the State of Indiana’s teaching licensure exam for grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

Our graduates work as inspiring music teachers in public and private schools in Indiana and throughout the country. They work in elementary school general music classes. They teach band, chorus, jazz, orchestra, and general music in middle schools. And, they lead passionate music students in high school band, chorus, jazz, and orchestra ensembles. Our graduates are also prepared for graduate studies for continued education in music.  

A white male student with blond hair and glasses sits on a piano bench in front of a brown piano. A book of sheet music sits atop the piano. There is a white brick wall in the background.

Composing Award-Winning Music

During his education at Indiana State, music education alumnus Dakota Pederson, ’22, won the Phi Beta Mu Claude T. Smith Composition Contest for Young Musicians with his original composition, Armory. He turns his passion for composing music and piano performance into a teaching experience for youths.

Read how Pederson composes his award-winning pieces.


Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Higher Learning Commission

In addition, the School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Music Education program holds accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and the Music Business program is affiliated with NAMM – International Music Products Association.