A music teacher collects rhythm sticks from students in a classroom.

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.

Keith Hodgson poses for a picture with his conducting baton.
Keith Hodgson

Music Education (MAT)
Director, MAT in Music Education
Jenny Neff, Director, Summer Music Studies + MM in Music, University of the Arts
Jenny Neff

Music Education (MM)
Director, Summer Music Studies and MM in Music Education
Matt Gallagher, Associate Professor
Matthew Gallagher

MM '01

Jazz Studies (MM)
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

Application Deadline

Fall 2021: Applicants who submit the application form and all required supporting materials before February 1, 2021 will be prioritized for scholarship funding opportunities from the university. Students may continue to apply on a rolling basis after the Feb. 1 priority deadline and will be considered for admission and scholarships on a space-available basis.

Review graduate tuition, financial aid and scholarship information.

To apply, the following materials are required:

  • Application Fee of $60 (nonrefundable; submitted with your application)
  • Official Transcripts
    • Official transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate schools attended are required and must demonstrate:
      • 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 (cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher) of co-requisite coursework and/or acquired competencies as follows:
        • Introductory course in Educational Psychology
        • Course in Child Growth Development
        • Knowledge of current issues, trends and methods in music teaching and lesson planning
        • Actual field experience involving observation, teaching and lesson planning
        • Functional skills on piano
        • Course in basic conducting and score reading
        • Course in orchestration/arranging
          Note: Co-requisites may be satisfied through the following:
          • Completion of the Music Education minor at UArts
          • Individual examination
          • Documented professional experience
          • Completion of appropriate courses at another institution
    • Transcripts should be issued directly by the Registrar's Office at the college(s) attended and sent to the Office of Admissions, The University of the Arts, 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or via email to gradcredentials@uarts.edu.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Letters of recommendation may either be requested through the online application form, or mailed to the Office of Admissions. At least two must come from professors or professional in your field familiar with your capabilities and credentials. The third may be from a colleague, collaborator or a peer.
  • Statement of Intent & Resume
    • Your Statement of Intent & Resume are uploaded and submitted as part of your online application. What do you hope to gain by your studies at the graduate level? Your resume should highlight all of your professional accomplishments including employment, internships, honors, exhibitions and publications.
  • Personal Interview
    • After the application has been processed, each applicant is contacted for a personal interview conducted by the program director. For applicants who cannot interview at the university, interviews can be conducted via telephone or Skype.

International Applicants

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

  • Official Transcripts
    • All transcripts from outside the United States must be in English and must be official. The Office of Admissions may request that international students obtain a transcript evaluation from a third-party credential evaluation service (such as World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators) in cases where further information is required to assess international credentials. 
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
    • International students whose native language is not English must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test. A minimum TOEFL score of 79, IELTS score of 6.0, or Duolingo English Test score of 100 is required for admission. In lieu of the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test, completion of Level 9 in the University of the Arts ESL Institute will be accepted.   

Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but whose scores do not meet the English proficiency requirement for degree study may receive an offer of conditional admission that first requires enrollment in the University of the Arts' English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete Level 9 of ESL study in ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies.

In special circumstances, applicants who have not taken the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted in writing and include the reason for opting not to take the exams. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require an interview. A waiver may be considered for those applicants who enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university in the U.S. and successfully completed two semesters of college-level English, not taken in conjunction with ESL study, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in those classes.

I20/F-1 International Student Visa Information: Upon acceptance, students will be contacted by the 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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