Music Education


Become a mentor with purpose. Study music education at Luther and develop the tools you need to inspire a passion for music.

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Why Study Music Education?

Music educators help students develop their whole person—mind, body, and spirit. By majoring in music education, you’ll become an educator who brings people together around music. You’ll get the skills you need to teach proper technique. You’ll also help your students become creative and analytical thinkers.

As a teacher, you’ll have an immediate impact on the next generation. Students need teachers who will prepare them to meet an ever-changing society. Schools are looking for skilled and knowledgeable individuals to fill that need. The demand for qualified educators is as high as it’s ever been.

Why Study Music Education at Luther?

Luther’s music education program prepares you for the music classroom by merging key parts of our music and education curriculum, including:

  • Nurturing a depth of knowledge to match your strengths and interests and to engage future students in a wide variety of music-making contexts
  • Hands-on experience at the front of the classroom through off-campus practicums and in-class activities
  • Developing theoretical knowledge of learning and human behavior as well as teaching competencies

Finally, Luther’s music education major is fully accredited by both the National Association of Schools of Music and the Iowa Department of Education. You will leave Luther ready to make an immediate difference as a music educator.

Program Highlights

Exploratory Practicum in Area Schools

Experience teaching as a first-year student. Luther’s introductory practicum takes place during your first January Term. You’ll determine early on if teaching is right for you.

Luther College Community Music School

Music education majors are able to teach lessons to community members through the Luther College Community Music School.  This opportunity allows students to experience teaching in a 1-on-1 setting.

Ensemble and Touring Experience

A requirement of the music education major is participation in any one of Luther’s twelve major choral, orchestral, jazz, or band ensembles. Half of these ensembles frequently tour regionally, nationally, and internationally. Students frequently participate in more than one ensemble at at a time.

What You’ll Learn

Your academic courses will cover music theory, history, repertoire, and pedagogy. You’ll practice ear training and conducting. You’ll also receive lessons, perform a recital, participate in one of twelve ensembles, and complete a senior research project.

As a music education major, you’ll have opportunities to work with real students in real classrooms. “Try on” teaching in your first year, when you’ll spend several weeks observing teachers and experiencing the functions of the classroom. Later, you’ll put your skills to work teaching a unit in a monthlong practicum. Finally, a full semester of student teaching will combine your knowledge and experience.


Careers and Outcomes

Music education is one of the most popular paths for music majors. Luther graduates excel in their teaching careers at all levels: elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. Our music education majors achieve almost 100 percent placement after graduation. This is a testament to the program’s credibility and reputation. Luther alumni can teach in schools and universities across the United States and around the world.

Recent music education majors also often pursue further degrees in performance, conducting, composition, and more. Luther graduates attend prestigious music schools across the country.

Graduate Studies

  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Northwestern University
  • Yale University
  • Cincinnati Conservatory
  • Eastman School of Music
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Juilliard School of Music
White man with short hair, smiling, wearing a jacket and tie, holding a trombone
Alongside the amazing professors from whom I learned technical skills, the focus on compassionate and intentional instruction prepares Luther educators to be truly meaningful teachers.
Jackson Churchill '20
Music Education Major
Read Jackson's Story
Jill Wilson
I see the liberal arts as key in nurturing students to contribute to their world no matter what their vocation. I teach in a ‘pre-professional’ program, but my students are not only being prepared to teach music; they are being prepared to educate students.
Jill Wilson

Future Music Educators Association (FMEA)

The goal of FMEA is to build a community where future music educators can:

  • Grow in their understanding of music education through both professional development and various teaching opportunities
  • Participate in programs, discussions, workshops, conferences, and performances
  • Pursue leadership opportunities
  • Network and collaborate with in-service music educators
  • Connect with faculty and preservice music teachers in other colleges and universities

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