Music Education

BM-Music Education Degree Information

The Bachelor of Music in Music Education is a professional music degree. It entails fewer courses outside of music and more music courses and performance requirements. It aims to provide greater depth in the study of music and refinement of performing skills. Students graduate with a Music Education Major in this degree.

The Bachelor of Music in Music Education leads to a license to teach music in Minnesota public schools. A Minnesota teaching license will enable the holder to get a teaching license in another state with little or no additional coursework. For details, see Dr. Bob McClure, Education Department. 

 Minnesota offers two kinds of music teaching licenses: Music K-12 with specialization in Instrumental/General Music, and Music K-12 with specialization in Vocal/General Music. (Candidates for licensure must demonstrate keyboard proficiency and guitar proficiency, and meet other program requirements.) See the St. Olaf catalog for detailed requirements.


If you pursue music education at St. Olaf, you will be licensed to teach in Minnesota schools.  If you choose to stay in Minnesota schools, you will only need to obtain periodic clock hour renewal units to stay licensed. These are relatively easy to acquire through summer school, workshops, and in-service training provided by school districts.

As soon as you qualify, apply for a Minnesota teaching license—even if you think you don’t want one. Should you decide in later years to apply for your first license, you will then need to complete whatever requirements have been added in the meantime, which can often make licensure more difficult.


Study overseas: The music education coursework makes the scheduling of study abroad (other than in January term) a significant challenge. Plan for this option as early as possible with Dr. Garner.

 Senior recitals: These should be scheduled prior to student teaching.

The Music Education Degree is one of the most complex and intensive programs offered at St. Olaf College. Do ask for help in planning your program from:

Dr. Leigh Ann Garner
Christiansen Hall of Music 235             

 *Music education planning forms are available from Dr. Garner.