Music Education Department

Music Education Degree Information

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The Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree prepares students to teach in public schools through professional course work, as well as through observation and participation in a variety of public school settings. A full semester of supervised teaching in both elementary and secondary schools is a requirement in the final year of the degree. This degree contains many components that lead toward obtaining licensure to teach music in grades K-12 in the State of Illinois.


Current requirements for the BME degree include:

  • A minimum of 36 course units of credit units, divided between Professional Education courses, General Education Coursework, and Content Area (Music) Coursework, with minimum GPAs of 2.85 (by the 2nd semester of the second year) and 3.0 (by the end of the third year)
  • Grades of C or higher in all Professional Education and Content Area (Music) courses
  • Completion of a minimum 100 hours of observation and teaching in public schools (many of these hours are built into Music Education coursework)
  • Passing scores on all areas of the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Test of Academic Proficiency (or the equivalent on the ACT or SAT exam (including writing) prior to the fourth semester.
  • Passing scores on all areas of the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) music content area test prior to student teaching.
  • Successful completion of the Teacher Education Program (TEP) and Upper Division interview during the fourth semester
  • One semester of student teaching in a combination of elementary, middle, and high school classrooms
  • As of Fall 2015, a passing score from Pearson on the edTPA portfolio (completed during student teaching)


Once all requirements are met, students then submit an application to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in order to be issued a teaching license in the state of Illinois.


Below is a list of course requirements for the BME degree. One of the hallmarks of the Illinois Wesleyan University Music Education program is that students enroll not online in music education courses, but also have the opportunity to take liberal arts courses, which help them gain a well-rounded education during their college careers.

General Education (9 units)

There are 9 General Education courses that students must take that fall under the following categories: Gateway Colloquium (GW), Analysis of Values (AV), The Arts (AR), Contemporary Social Institutions (CSI), Cultural and Historical Change (CHC), Formal Reasoning (FR), Intellectual Traditions (IT), Literature (LIT), Second Language (LA), Natural Sciences (LSI, LSL, PSI, or PSL), and Physical Education (PE).

Courses included in the core music sequence fulfill the requirements for AR and CHC, and Music Education majors are not required to take LA classes. Thus, the required number of General Education courses is fewer for Music Education students.


School of Music (16.5 units)

Course Course Units
Applied Concentration (private instruction in primary instrument)




Survey of Music History (.5 per semester)


Keyboard Basics (or proficiency)


Functional Piano

     OR if piano concentration


Music History & Literature


Upper Division Theory

     Choose from:



     Choose from:


Ensembles (7 semesters) *
(Pianists must include 0.5 units of MUS 031 Accompanying)
*In addition to a major ensemble, all wind and percussion instrumental music education majors must participate in MUS 025X Titan Band for a minimum of two semesters.


MUS 015X: Experiencing Live Performance of Concert Repertoire
     5 semesters


MUS 014X: Colloquia in Music 
     1 semester


Music Electives

     Choose from: Diction, Vocal Pedagogy, Ensembles, Jazz Ensembles, Composition, Conducting, etc.



Professional Education (10.5 units)

Course Course Units

Instrumental and Vocal Techniques Courses:


MUS 132 Foundations & Principles of Music Education


  • EDUC 257 The Exceptional Child



EDUC 365 Reading, Writing, and Communication in the Content Areas  1
MUS 232 Elementary Music Methods


MUS 333A Instrumental Music Methods


MUS 333B Choral Music Methods


MUS 497A Student Teaching in Music (1 semester)



Licensure Information

Upon satisfactory completion of the requirements for the degree, the student must make application to the Illinois State Certification Board in order that a certificate may be issued granting the holder authorization to teach music, grades K-12, in the public schools of the state of Illinois.

Students who contemplate teaching in another state should consult with the Educational Studies Department and the Music Education Supervisor concerning certification requirements and adjust the pattern of academic and professional studies accordingly. The IWU assistant director for the teacher licensure and assessment will contact students about issues concerning licensure.

Helpful Links and Forms

IWU Educational Studies Forms and Information

IWU Educational Studies Department

Illinois State Board of Education

Information about edTPA

Field Observation Log

Observation Hour Form (word)