The Bachelor of Music Education with a Vocal/Choral Concentration prepares students to teach K-12 vocal/choral music. The program also can be used as a springboard for continued study in graduate school or career in private studio teaching. Our goal: to produce "musician educators," graduates who are as proficient as entry-level professional musicians, who have the skill and background to bring music alive for their students, and who are active in music making in their communities through performing or composing.
The art of teaching music
First, students learn how to teach in a general sense; then, they undergo in-depth training in how to teach a wide range of vocal and choral genres. The foundation for a strong background in learning how to teach begins in the College of Education, which equips students during their initial two years with the coursework required to become professional educators. Here, they learn how to prepare a lesson plan, for example. The last two years embrace intensive pedagogy on the "vocal/choral" part of the degree. Students learn about teaching in schools and studios (private lessons), performing in both professional and community venues, arranging and composing, as well as conducting. In addition, they develop their individual pedagogy for voice, create and analyze music (theory), and understand the broad spectrum of music genres (history).
Master teachers and field experience
Our music education program is backed by an outstanding faculty with a national reputation. Students are paired with master teachers to help them prepare for teaching in their area of interest. These master teachers not only offer specific vocal/choral expertise but also function as role models.
Field experience is an important part of the program. Approximately 100 hours of field experience, or internship, is the norm. This experience includes time in the classroom with professional educators at high schools and middle schools, followed by a full semester of student teaching. For example, students interested in choral direction may work with choirs in local high schools.
Our program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, which sets the standards for music programs across the country. Also, Anderson University sponsors a local chapter of the National Association for Music Educators, which offers workshops and clinics as well as leadership opportunities for students.
Sing, sing, sing
In addition to challenging instruction and internships, opportunities to perform and compete are plentiful through AU. The South Carolina School of the Arts has several active singing groups, including the Anderson University Choir, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and the AU Ensemble, a gospel choir. Our groups have been selected to perform at state and regional venues, have toured internationally, and have won top awards at several competitions.
Your career…and ministry
The Bachelor of Music Education with a Vocal/Choral Concentration has a high job placement rate for graduates. Because of their preparation, coupled with their personal initiative, students with this degree have earned Teacher of the Year awards with individual schools and school districts. In addition, they have become leaders in professional organizations, such as the South Carolina Music Association.
This degree is an ideal fit for Christians who are also musicians – students who wish to minister though making music for Christ, leading worship services, and teaching at Christian schools. They are uniquely equipped to influence their students, colleagues, and the community for Christ.