What Are the Core Courses in an Online Master's Degree in Music?

Whether you teach, write, compose or work in the music industry, earning a master's degree in music could enhance your career options. If you would like to continue your education, but you don't have the time for a traditional graduate degree program, pursuing an online program in music can offer the flexibility you need to earn an advanced degree, such as the Master of Science in Music Education. Schools offering Ethnomusicology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Online Master's Degree in Music

If you've completed your baccalaureate studies in music, and you're contemplating continuing your education in the field, consider earning an online master's degree in music as your next step toward a rewarding career in the music profession. Typically, graduates of online master's degree programs, like a Master of Science (M.S.) in Music Education, must complete several core courses. A solid education for an aspiring musician or musical scholar usually entails three key elements:

  • Theoretical understanding of musical structure
  • A grasp of music history and of the societal factors that influence music
  • Hands-on experience creating music on a professional level

Important Facts About This Program

Common Topics Music technology, music education research, qualitative research methods, music analysis, and world cultures
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in music with a minimum GPA, statement of purpose, evidence of scholarship and writing skills, application to an assistantship, and two references
Possible Careers Music educator, scholar, performer, singer/songwriter
Continuing Education Opportunity to pursue doctoral studies

Music Theory

The discipline of music theory includes the study of music notation, such as clefs, note lengths, note pitches, key signatures, time signatures, beats and measures. You may also concentrate on concepts like scales, intervals and rhythm. In addition, you'll study advanced topics, including the history of notation and the dynamics, phrasing, and physics of scales.

Music History

In this course, you'll concentrate on the history underlying key elements of music, such as composition, reception and analysis. There is a particular focus on the various genres, categories and styles of music and the social or cultural forces that help shape music. The lives, works and performances of different composers may also be studied.

Techniques of Research in Music

This course can help you learn to develop, refine and demonstrate research techniques for investigating issues in music. In addition, you'll be trained to formulate possible solutions.

Music Education

Professors of these classes seek to give students a graduate-level overview of music education and help them develop an advanced level of appreciation, understanding and skill in music pedagogy. The skills you'll learn in this course can help you teach others how to excel in music. Classes in this area also incorporate a focus on various issues and challenges in music education, and you'll discover how these challenges shape the industry.

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