Music Education (MAT)

The Master of Arts in Teaching – Music Education (MAT) is an advanced teacher certification program for professional musicians desiring a master’s degree and certification to teach music in K-12 schools as well as in other educational settings and for related careers. It is a unique program in that candidates for the MAT typically will have completed undergraduate studies in applied music, composition, theory, musicology, or other professional areas. MAT graduates are eligible to receive K-12 certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education to teach music.

Read the important licensure disclosure.


There is a decisive moment in the life of every musician — a moment where the music, the practice and the art coalesce and the decision is made to commit a lifetime to making music. And there are some musicians who choose to share their passion with others — to stand in front of a classroom, a stage or an ensemble and help young people discover their own path through music. Keith Hodgson, Program Director for the MAT in Music Education, uses the term musician-educator to talk about those musicians who have decided to share their talents in the field of education.

Community Engagement & Social Impact
Each year, University of the Arts graduate students in the Master of Arts in Teaching in Music Education program and 7th–9th graders from Pennfield Middle School in the North Penn School District located in the suburbs of Philadelphia come together for “MAT Collaboration Day,” a uniquely special occasion in which UArts students have the opportunity to apply pedagogical elements of their degree program in meaningful collaboration with Philadelphia youth. The day is packed full of lessons, critiques, rehearsals and performances, giving school children the chance to try on the mantle of musician and demonstrating for UArts students the crucial part arts education plays in shaping young people’s lives. “It gave me the chills when I looked at the photos,” commented Pennfield Middle School Principal. MAT Collaboration Day, the brainchild of Beth Sokolowski, former director of Music Education at UArts, is for her a hallmark of the program. “Public school educators and administrators outside of the artist classrooms need to see the value and purpose in what we do, what we bring to kids and why the arts are so valuable in public education.”

In addition to MAT Collaboration Day, renowned music educators from across the country provide clinics, Skype sessions and special seminar sessions to enhance the foundations of the program.


Faculty of the program include widely celebrated musicians and educators such as Dr. Jenny Neff, Keith Hodgson, Matt Gallagher MM ’01 (Jazz Studies), Michelle Przybylowski, Jeffrey Kern, Michael Fein, Kevin Hanson, Dr. Debbie Wolf and John Lindner. Through wide networks within the music and education fields, our faculty open up playing and teaching opportunities for students throughout their tenure at UArts and beyond.

Contact Music Education Program Director Jenny Neff at

Jenny Neff in a dark blazer with a white collared shirt standing with her arms crossed and holding a conductor baton
Jenny Neff, EdD, MM

Music Education (MM)
Director, Summer Music Studies and Music Education (MM and MAT)
Keith Hodgson poses for a picture with his conducting baton.
Keith Hodgson, MA

Music Education (MAT)
Assistant Professor, Music Education
SHot of Matt Gallagher playing trumpet, dressed in all black.
Matt Gallagher

Trumpet Department Chair

Music - Instrumental Performance (BM)
Associate Professor

About the Curriculum

Sample Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Teaching in Music Education program provides the opportunity for those passionate about both music and education to develop and refine the intellectual, pedagogical, teaching and musical skills necessary for advancement. Candidates are required to have completed undergraduate studies in applied music, composition, theory, musicology or performance to meet the demands of the program.

Coursework includes comprehensive instruction in the use of music education technology, field-based learning experiences and site-based pedagogy courses providing direct feedback on instructional effectiveness as well as a comprehensive student teaching component. The program readies students for careers teaching music in a K–12 setting and prepares students for passing all required Praxis exams in order to become certified teachers in the state of Pennsylvania.

Total Credits: 36
Duration: 1 year full-time, pending all co-requisites are met

Expand all Collapse all

Music Pedagogy III: Pre-K–Grade 4 (3c)
Music Pedagogy IV: Grades 5–8 (2c)
Alternative Ensembles (2c)
Student Teaching: Elementary (4c)
Student Teaching Sem: Elementary (1c)
Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Music Education (3c)
Curriculum and Assessment (3c)


Music Pedagogy V: Grades 9–12 (2c)
Music Pedagogy VI: Vocal/Choral (2c)
Conducting and Rehearsal Tech: HS and Comm. (3c)
Student Teaching: Secondary (4c)
Student Teaching Sem: Secondary (1c)
Sociological Foundations of Music Education (3c)
Integration of Technology in Music Education (3c)

Explore the Full Curriculum

Alumni & Careers

A headshot of Music Education (BM+MAT) alum, Ben Di Bartolo.
Ben Di Bartolo

BM '12 (Trumpet), MAT '13 (Music Education)

Music Education (MAT)
Music Teacher, Philadelphia Public Schools; creator of the CAPA Brass Band
A headshot of alum Bridget Warren (MAT '13)
Bridget Warren

BM '12 (Vocal Performance), MAT '13 (Music Education)

Music Education (MAT)
Head Choir Director, Melillo Middle School; President of the Warren Youth Singers Community Choir
Alum Andrew Kruc (MAT '12) plays his drum set.
Andrew Kruc

BM '07 (Percussion), MAT '12 (Music Education)

Music Education (MAT)
Musician-Educator, William Penn School District; Co-Founder of WhoaPhat Brass Band
Jason Chuong ’08 (Percussion), MAT ’09 (Music Education)
Jason Chuong

BM ’08 (Percussion), MAT ’09 (Music Education)

Music Education (BM & MAT)
Music Teacher, Philadelphia Public Schools; Senior Lecturer at UArts
A headshot of alum Sharin Rello (MAT '04)
Sharin Rello

BM '03 (Saxophone), MAT '04 (Music Education)

Music Education (BM & MAT)
Music Educator, Lawrence Township Public School District; Mercer County 2018 Teacher of the Year
Alum Kawika Kahalehoe (MAT '02) poses with his high school band.
Kawika Kahalehoe

BM '01 (Trombone), MAT '02 (Music Education)

Music Education (BM & MAT)
Music Teacher, Montgomery Township School District; Artistic Director, Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra

How to Apply

Who Should Apply

Qualified MAT in Music Education applicants must demonstrate the following experiences, coursework and competencies. Co-requisites may be satisfied through completion of the Music Education minor at UArts, completion of appropriate courses at another institution, documented professional experience or individual examination. 

  • Successful completion (cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher) of an undergraduate degree in musical performance, composition, theory, history/literature or related field from an accredited college or university.

  • Successful completion of co-requisite coursework and/or acquired competencies in:

    • Introductory course in educational psychology

    • Course in child growth development

    • Knowledge of current issues, trends and methods in music teaching and lesson planning

    • Field experience involving observation, teaching and lesson planning

    • Functional skills on piano

    • Course in basic conducting and score reading

    • Course in orchestration/arranging

Application Deadline 

Spring 2023 priority deadline: Applications received by October 15 will be among the first considered for admission and scholarship. We will not accept any applications or materials after January 9.

Fall 2023 priority deadline: Applications received by February 15 will be among the first considered for admission and scholarship. We will not accept any applications or materials after August 12.

Review graduate tuition, financial aid and scholarship information.

Application Requirements

  • Start or resume your application.

  • $60 nonrefundable application fee

    • If the cost of the application fee is a barrier, contact Admissions to request a fee waiver code.

  • Official undergraduate transcript

    • Official transcripts must be sent directly from the college where you have earned, or will earn, your undergraduate degree by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

    • If you have earned, or will earn, your undergraduate degree outside the U.S., see our transcript requirements for international graduate applicants below.

  • Two letters of recommendation

    • Two letters of recommendation from professors or professionals in your field, who are familiar with your capabilities, are required. In the case that these recommenders are not available, you may request letters from colleagues, collaborators or peers, if necessary.

    • Applicants must enter contact information for their recommenders on the application. An email will be sent to recommenders providing a link for them to upload their letter. Letters of recommendation may also be submitted by the recommender via email to

  • Statement of intent

    • Statements should be a minimum of one to two pages and detail your professional plans, interests and goals. What do you hope to gain by your studies at the graduate level? 

    • Your statement of intent may be uploaded during the application process or added after submission via your applicant status portal. 

  • Résumé

    • Your résumé should highlight all your professional accomplishments, including employment, internships, honors, exhibitions and publications.

    • Your résumé may be uploaded during the application process or added after submission via your applicant status portal. 

  • Interview

    • After the application has been processed, each applicant is contacted to schedule an interview with the program director. Interviews may be conducted on campus or by Zoom. 

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants or those with foreign credentials must submit

  • Official undergraduate transcripts

    • Applicants who have academic documents from institutions outside the U.S. are required to provide original, attested or certified true copies of academic records from the institution where they have earned, or will earn, their undergraduate degree. These records should be in the original language in which they were issued.

    • For postsecondary school records that are not in English, applicants must also submit an official translation of all their academic documents. Translations must be a complete, literal, word-for-word translation in the same format of the original academic document. Transcripts cannot be translated by the student or any members of their family. Acceptable translators include English teachers or other school officials, professional translators, or a local EducationUSA office

    • Admissions might request that students obtain a course-by-course credential evaluation if we are not able to confirm the equivalent level to a U.S. undergraduate degree.

  • Proof of English proficiency

    • For international applicants whose primary language is not English, and who have not completed two semesters of college-level English in a college/university where the language of instruction is English, proof of English proficiency is required. 

    • Recommended minimums for English proficiency exams are as follows. 

      • TOEFL iBT: 79
      • TOEFL essentials: 8.5
      • IELTS: 6.5
      • Pearson PTE Academic: 53
      • Duolingo: 100
    • Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but whose scores do not meet the English proficiency requirement for degree study might receive an offer of conditional admission that requires enrollment in the university’s English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies in the fall semester.

    • In special circumstances, applicants who do not have access to the TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo English tests can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted by email to Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and might require an interview.

  • I-20/F-1 international student visa information: Upon acceptance, students will be contacted by University of the Arts’ International Student Programs office, regarding visa counseling and all materials required to create an I-20 in order to obtain an F-1 visa. Contact Mara Flamm, director of international student programs, with any questions regarding your I-20 or F-1 visa.

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