Admission Requirements | Entrance Audition | Re-admission to the Department | Transfer Students | Electronic Portfolios
Upper Division Music Education Program Requirements | Music Education Interview | Musicianship Exam
MUE Program Requirements| Teacher Education Information | Competencies
We have a 100% placement rate for graduates who have received New York State initial teaching certification. Buffalo State music education graduates have received music teaching jobs locally, state-wide, and nationally. Our recent graduates have received jobs in Buffalo, New York City, Arizona, and California.
Students who successfully complete the Mus.B. in Music Education at Buffalo State are granted New York State Initial Teaching Certification for Pre-K through Grade 12 for General, Choral, and Instrumental Music (Broadfield). Buffalo State is the only SUNY school that does not limit students to a single area of focus.
To prepare music education majors to be 21st century music teachers, they are guided in using mobile devices in their music courses and with their future music students. Several courses incorporate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technology, allowing students to use their personal mobile devices to access course content during and outside of class time.
Buffalo State is the only urban SUNY school, allowing music education majors the unique opportunity to develop teaching skills in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Students enroll in three field experience courses before student teaching, gaining experience in a variety of diverse teaching environments, and in a variety of subject areas, including band, chorus, and general music. Those experiences lead to our graduates being marketable for a variety of high-quality teaching jobs.
Music education majors have many opportunities to interact with PreK through 12 students throughout their time at Buffalo State. The Community Arts Academy music classes are lab classes where music faculty guide music education majors in interacting with children ages birth through 12 and their parents. The music department has a Professional Development School partnership with Lindbergh Elementary School, which allows music education majors more hands-on teaching experience.
In music education courses, students engage in hands-on projects. In Introduction to Music Studies and Careers, first-year music education students create and perform an educational concert for public school children. In Technology Applications for Music Education, students design innovative music courses for middle and high school students.
In January 2018, music education coordinator Dr. Kerry Renzoni, in collaboration with the School fo Education Professional Development Schools Consortium, led a trip to Torremaggiorre, Italy. Students had the opportunity for a unique immersion experience in early childhood music teaching.
The music education program leads to a New York State Initial Certification for teaching Pre-K-12, broadfield in New York State schools. This program requires intensive study in music performance, music history, music theory, and methodologies of teaching, with special focus on world music and urban culture.
Students who are interested in the Music Education major must Apply for Admission to Buffalo State by completing a SUNY application and Register for an Audition for the Music Department. Once the application is reviewed by the Office of Admissions staff, applicants will be contacted to arrange an audition and interview with members of the Music Department faculty. Admission to the Music Education major is based on the outcome of the audition and interview. Freshmen or transfer students who have a successful audition, but do not pass the interview, will be offered admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree.
Entry into an educator preparation program (like Music Education) at the undergraduate level requires a High School Average of 85% or higher, which is considered equivalent to a collegiate GPA of 3.0. Transfer students applying to these programs must demonstrate a GPA of 3.0 either in the last semester of full-time study or as a cumulative average from multiple colleges, whichever is a more accurate representation of ability. Candidates applying to educator preparation programs must submit an SAT or ACT score as part of their application to Buffalo State. Prospective candidates who do not yet demonstrate a 3.0 GPA and/or high school average of 85% or higher should consult the Coordinator of Undergraduate Music Education or the Music Department Chair for suggested pathways to achieve successful candidacy.
All prospective Music Education students must audition for admission to the Music Department. Prospective students are afforded two opportunities to audition for admission. If a student is not accepted after the second audition, a third audition is not permitted. Click here to Apply and Audition at SUNY Buffalo State.
Students who have taken a leave of absence exceeding one academic year will be required to audition for readmission to the Music Department. Juniors and Seniors who have successfully entered the Upper Division Music Education program and have taken a leave of absence exceeding one academic year may be required to audition and re-interview for placement in the Music Education program, at the discretion of the Music Department Chairperson. Student must also Re-apply for Admission to Buffalo State after an absence exceeding one academic year.
Transfer students who are interested in the Music Education major must first Apply for Admission to Buffalo State College as a Music Education major with lower division status. As soon as you complete the SUNY Application, transfer students must Sign up for an Audition and Interview with members of the music faculty.
For transfer students, the initial interview for acceptance to the Upper Division Music Education program must have completed or be enrolled in MUS 330- Music Theory III and MUS 318- Aural Perceptions III. If a student has satisfied the requirements for Music Theory III and Aural Perceptions III, then the interview must occur in their second semester of full-time study. Students may not interview prior to the completion of two semesters of full time study as a Lower Division Music Education major. However, all students must complete the initial interview after no more than 5 semesters of full-time study as a Lower Division Music Education major, regardless of Theory and Aural Perceptions enrollment. The faculty reserves the right to compel the initial interview for acceptance to the Upper Division Music Education program at any point in a Music Education major’s course of study.
For acceptance to the Upper Division Music Education program, Music Education transfer students must successfully satisfy the requirements stated in this handbook. Transfer students who do not satisfy these requirements cannot enter the Upper Division Music Education program. If a transfer student does not pass on the first attempt, the jury and Music Education Interview must be held a second time within one academic year of the initial attempt. Failure to pass the admission process on the second attempt will result in permanent dismissal from the music education program.
All Music Education majors are required to compile and maintain an electronic teaching portfolio in Taskstream. Detailed requirements regarding content and layout are available online or from the music education coordinator. All portfolio design and content requirements will be covered in coursework. If additional assistance is required, it is the responsibility of the student to seek instruction or guidance from the music education coordinator or other appropriate sources. Students will NOT attain Upper Division Music Education status or be permitted to student teach without an appropriate electronic portfolio as determined in corresponding coursework.
Upper Division denotes the advanced set of courses in the Music Education curriculum (Elementary Methods, Secondary Choral Methods, Secondary Instrumental Methods, co-requisite Field Experiences, Student Teaching, and Student Teaching Seminar) required to complete the Bachelor of Music in Music Education (B.Mus.) degree at Buffalo State College. Upper Division Status must be attained before registering for any Upper Division music education courses.
All B.M. in Music Education Lower Division students must demonstrate their readiness to proceed to the Upper Division Music Education program through the music education interview. For students who enter Buffalo State as freshmen, the initial interview for acceptance to the Upper Division Music Education program must occur in the fourth semester of full-time music study as a Lower Division Music Education major. For transfer students, the initial interview for acceptance to the Upper Division Music Education program must occur after completing or while enrolled in MUS 330- Music Theory III and MUS 318- Aural Perceptions III, or in the second semester of full-time music study if a student has satisfied the Music Theory and Aural Perceptions requirements. The faculty reserves the right to compel the initial interview for acceptance to the Upper Division Music Education program at any point in a Lower Division Music Education major’s course of study.
For students who apply for Upper Division in Spring 2017 or before,
For students who apply or reapply to Upper Division in Spring 2018 or after:
The successful outcome of the above-described process will indicate the music faculty's confidence in the student's ability to complete the program and become a successful music educator. Students who are unsuccessful in attaining Upper Division status upon the initial attempt must reapply for Upper Division status one academic year following the initial attempt. Failure to pass the admission process on the second attempt will result in permanent dismissal from the music education program.
Interviews will be held each spring semester. Results of the Music Education interview will be based upon:
The exam will be held each spring semester. Exam preparation materials will be provided during the fall semester. The exam has five sections:
The exam will be administered and graded by music education professors. Passing the exam will be determined as follows:
Degree Title: Bachelor of Music in Music Education
Number of Years to Complete the Degree: Four
Musicianship and Performance and Music Education (70)
Professional Education and Student Teaching (30)
General Studies (33-39)
All College Electives (0)
Total Number of Credits (142)
Musicianship (32 credits)
MUS 122 Introduction to Music Studies and Careers (2 credits)
MUS 218 Aural Perception I (1 credit)
MUS 219 Aural Perception II (1 credit)
MUS 318 Aural Perception III (1 credit)
MUS 319 Aural Perception IV (1 credit)
MUS 230 Music Theory I (3 credits)
MUS 231 Music Theory II (3 credits)
MUS 330 Music Theory III (3 credits)
MUS 331 Music Theory IV (3 credits)
MUS 321 Composition, Improvisation, and Arranging (2 credits)
MUS 206 History of American Popular Music 1900-1950 (3 credits)
MUS 302 Music History: Antiquity through Baroque (3 credits)
MUS 303 Music History: Classic through Modern (3 credits)
MUS 440 Ethnomusicology (3 credits)
Music Performance (14 credits)
MUS 171-473 Applied Instruction (7 credits)
MUS 313, 314, or 335 Ensemble Requirement (7 credits)
Music Education (24-25 credits)
MUS 113 Brass Techniques (1 credit)
MUS 114 Percussion Techniques (1 credit)
MUS 115 String Techniques (1 credit)
MUS 116 Woodwind Techniques (1 credit)
MUS 119 Vocal Pedagogy (1 credit)
MUS 220 Technology Applications for Music Education (2 credits)
MUS 322 Instrumental Conducting (2 credits)
MUS 333 Choral Conducting (2 credits)
MUS 345 Elementary Music Methods (3 credits)
MUS 346 Field Experience in Elementary Music (1 credit)
MUS 353 Field Experience in Music for Exceptional Learners (1 credit)
MUS 360 Secondary Instrumental Music Methods (3 credits)
MUS 361 Field Experience in Secondary Instrumental Music (1 credit)
MUS 362 Secondary Choral Music Methods (3 credits)
MUS 363 Field Experience in Secondary Choral Music (1 credit)
MUS 364 Field Experience in Community Music Settings (1 credit)*
*Required for students who enrolled in Music Edcuationin Fall 2016 and after
Professional Education (15-18 credits)
SPF 203 School and Society (3 credits)
SPF 303 Educational Psychology (3 credits)
SPF 403 Historical and Philosophical Forces Influencing Seconday Education (3 credits)*
*Required for students who enrolled in Music Education prior to Fall 2016
EDU 211 Introduction to Literacy Instruction (3 credits)
EDU 416 Teaching Literacy in Middle and Secondary Schools (3 credits)
EXE 100 Nature and Needs of Individuals with Special Needs (3 credits)
Student Teaching (12 credits)
MUS 457 Elementary Student Teaching (5 credits)
MUS 458 Secondary Student Teaching (5 credits)
MUS 460 Student Teaching Seminar (2 credits)
General Studies (33-39 credits) Intellectual Foundations
Basic Written and Oral Communication (6 credits)
CWP 101 (3): must earn a minimum grade of C
CWP 102 (3): must earn a minimum grade of C
Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits)
Select one course from this area
*Can satisfy major/minor requirements
Cognate Foundations (12 credits)
Select one course from each area
Natural Science (3)
Social Science (3)
*MUS course will not satisfy the Cognate Foundations Requirements
Foundations of Civilizations (9 credits)
Select one course from each area
American History (3)
Western Civilization (3)
Non-Western Civilization (3)
*Can satisfy major/minor requirements
Diversity (3 credits)
*Music Majors satisfy this requirement with MUS 206
Global Engagement (0-6 credits)
Intellectual Skills and Competencies (0 credits)
Writing Across the Curriculum (Infused)
Critical Thinking (Infused)
Information Management (Infused)
*Music Majors satisfy these requirements in MUS 303 and 440
All College Electives (0 credits)
The Music Education program at Buffalo State falls under the administrative umbrella of the Teacher Education Unit. Music education teacher candidate policies listed below are explicated in the Teacher Education Unit’s (TEU) Policy Handbook
Matters of incongruence between the TEU Policy Handbook and the Music Department Handbook shall be resolved collaboratively by the Vice President for Teacher Education, the Dean of Arts and Humanities, and the Music Department Chair. Music Education majors should be familiar with the TEU’s mission, which is “…to prepare knowledgeable and skilled educators who are committed to ensuring that all students achieve their greatest intellectual, emotional, and physical potential.”
In addition, Music Education majors must have a working knowledge of the TEU’s conceptual framework. The conceptual framework for all teacher preparation programs at Buffalo State College articulates the unit's vision, ensures coherence across candidates' programs and reflects our commitment to prepare candidates to work effectively with all students including students with culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse backgrounds and students with disabilities.
An evolutionary process based on program evaluation and research in teacher education has resulted in the present model that conceptualizes teaching as facilitating learning. Teachers take that which they understand and transform it for effective instruction through a cycle of activities involving:
Displayed below is a graphic representation of the conceptual model for educator preparation at Buffalo State College:
Required Outcomes for Music Education Students: The model describes the purposes, processes, outcomes, and evaluation of the professional education programs at the basic level. It consists of three major components -- the Learner, the Content and the Pedagogy. These three components are interrelated and integrated to prepare teacher candidates to assume roles as reflective facilitators of learning through coursework and experiences in each component of the model. The reflective facilitator of learning has a broad liberal arts background coupled with pedagogical knowledge and content knowledge and exemplifies those qualities and dispositions that characterize effective teachers.
When considering the three major components of the conceptual framework, it is important to acknowledge that all learning occurs within an ever-changing context: the environment of the school, the local community, and the broader society. Instructional context encompasses such factors as the prevalence of technology within a school, as well as those issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion. The nature of Buffalo State College's teacher education programs reflects our awareness of the influence of instructional context on learning. We seek to prepare our candidates to experience a variety of teaching situations through authentic context learning experiences facilitated through various k-12 community partnerships, and to adjust continually to changes within the profession.
All degree candidates in the Music Education program will strive to attain and exhibit the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Standards.
Graduates of the Bachelor of Music in Music Education program at Buffalo State receive New York State Initial Teacher Certification. Information, policies and procedures regarding certification is available through the Buffalo State Teacher Certification Office.
In addition to the INTASC standards explicated above and consistent with the mission, goals, and objectives of the Buffalo State College Music Department, the music faculty expects all B.Mus. in Music Education degree candidates to demonstrate the following competencies:
BME.2.5.1.a. Sufficient musicianship, vocal, and pedagogical skills to teach general music
BME.2.5.1.b. Sufficient vocal and pedagogical skill to teach effective use of the voice
BME.2.5.1.c. Knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum
development for general music and vocal/choral music
BME.2.5.2. The ability to successfully experience solo vocal, and small and large choral ensemble
BME.2.5.3. Performance ability sufficient to use at least one instrument as a teaching tool and to provide,
transpose, and improvise accompaniments
BME.2.5.4.a. The ability to successfully teach general music classes
BME.2.5.4.b. The ability to successfully teach beginning vocal techniques individually, in small groups and in
BME.2.5.5. Knowledge of and performance ability on wind, string, and percussion instruments sufficient to
teach beginning students effectively in groups
BME.2.5.6. Knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum
development for instrumental music
BME.2.5.6. The ability to successfully experience solo instrumental performance, as well as participation in
small and large instrumental ensembles
BME.2.5.7. The ability to successfully teach beginning instrumental students individually, in small groups
and in larger classes
Assessment of Competencies: The above competencies are evaluated through the passing of courses including course work and examinations. Additionally, music education students are evaluated and assessed utilizing 22 different key competency assessments as follows:
View the Competency Map and Degree Timeline for the B.Mus. in Music Education degree
This map shows the relationship between the competencies expected for the degree and the 22 assessments listed above. Furthermore, the map shows in which courses the competency is addressed and assessed.
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