Music Education - Prospective Students

Why Earn a Degree in Music Education?

Do you want to make a real difference in others' lives while honing your personal musicianship? Students who graduate from our program and enter the teaching field are responsible for nurturing and developing the next generation of music performers, music teachers, and music appreciators/consumers. At the same time, earning a BME degree provides students with numerous career options and graduate school opportunities.

Unique Program Aspects

  • ISU music education alumni are recognized for their high quality teaching and leadership within the profession. Alums have held or continue to hold teaching positions in schools throughout Iowa, as well as serving in administrative and leadership positions, and University teaching positions.
  • Students receive personal attention through faculty mentoring and advising in order to meet individual needs and interests.
  • All classes are taught by highly talented and qualified professors who have attended the finest music schools. There are no graduate students teaching in the department.
  • All students receive a weekly hour lesson with a performance faculty member.
  • A comprehensive curriculum that is responsive to educational change as well as to student needs and interests.
  • A program of study that provides active observation and participation in public and private schools beginning at the freshman level.
  • Undergraduate students have the opportunity to perform in the most elite musical ensembles and productions without competing with graduate students.
  • BME students demonstrate strong musicianship by performing a senior recital. Students seeking additional performance experience can complete a double major in music performance and music education.


The Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree program can be completed in four years and requires approx 150 credit hours, including approximately 70 hours in music, 50 hours in music teacher education, and 30 hours in liberal arts. This includes over 80 hours of observation time spent in the schools and 1 full semester of full-time student teaching. Upon completion of your degree, you will qualify for an Iowa K-12 music-teaching license. Students may apply for teaching licenses in other states as well.

Music Performance and Comprehensive Musicianship

  • Music History and Theory
  • Sight-singing
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Large and Small Ensembles
  • Applied Study
  • Conducting

General Studies

  • English
  • Communication Skills
  • Foreign Language
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • International Perspectives
  • U.S. Diversity

Professional Preparation

  • Music Education Methods Courses
  • Techniques of Playing and Teaching Instruments (Instrumental majors)
  • Lab Ensembles
  • Professional Education Courses
  • Music Technology
  • Field Experiences in Public Schools
  • Music Student Teaching


Music education faculty members teach all courses, supervise student teachers, and advise students within their specialty areas. Many of the Iowa State University music faculty have taught in the public schools in urban, rural, and suburban settings in Iowa and across the country.

Admissions Information

For information about admissions and audition requirements as a music major, visit the Department of Music Acceptance Information website, contact, or by phone (515-294-3831). 
For further information about the Music Education program, contact Dr. Natalie Steele (, Music Education Coordinator by email or phone (515-294-6829).