There are various paths you can take to become a music educator.
Students interested in becoming music educators have the option of completing a dual Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education or majoring in music education during their Bachelor of Music program and then completing the Bachelor of Education degree once they have obtained their BMus or BA degrees.
Dual Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education
The dual degree in music and education allows you to complete both the BMus (major: general studies: secondary education) and the BEd (major: music) within five years.
Technically these are credentials for teaching at the secondary level as a music specialist, but graduates are also well qualified to teach music at the elementary level.
By completing the BMus and the BEd simultaneously, you will be able to pursue a more focused program of study than the traditional, consecutive-degree (“4+1”) option. This dual degree program is strongly recommended if you are interested in a career in music education.
Please note: For those interested in double-majoring, minoring, completing a performance level BMus or taking a break from studies after BMus completion (e.g. to complete an MMus or to travel and teach English as a second language), the traditional 4 years +1 year post degree option is available.
As a student in the dual degree program with the B. Education, I've been able to complete courses for both degrees concurrently, which has helped me widen my perspective in both subject areas and given me more time to prepare for student teaching. Even while splitting my time between the two degrees, I've had many performances and opportunities to get involved with the SoM community!
Music education major
If you wish to become an elementary school music teacher, you may audition at the general studies level for acceptance into the general studies: elementary education major.
Note: music education electives must be chosen in consultation with the Faculty of Education.
If you wish to become a secondary school music teacher, you may audition at the general studies level for acceptance into the general studies: secondary education major.
- MUSC 112 Class Brass & Percussion and MUSC 122 Woodwinds: You must take one of these during your second year and the other in your third year.
- MUSC 311 Fundamentals of Conducting: You must take at least one conducting course by the end of your third year.
Bachelor of Education for music graduates
The Faculty of Education offers elementary and secondary education options for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree.
Work (volunteer or employed) with school-aged children and/or youth is an essential component of your application.
Experience in group settings is preferred - possibly being a classroom volunteer in an elementary school or other volunteer or employed work with a group of children once or twice a week for more than 75 hours. Experience with instrument or voice instruction on an individual basis is not usually sufficient.
The number of volunteer hours suggested varies depending on the setting. For example, volunteer experience only as a high school student or only with university-aged students is less desirable.
To enroll in this program, you will need a three-year Bachelor of Arts or Science degree (UBC 90 credits equivalent) or an acceptable equivalent from an accredited university. Prerequisite coursework is also required.
Note: A Bachelor of Music is accepted.
A minimum average of 65% (2.5 on a four-point scale) from the best 30 credits taken within the most recently completed 60 credits.
To be eligible for entrance into the program, all performance, composition and GMUS majors must meet the BEd even if such coursework is not part of your BMus degree.
Some required courses may be in process when you apply for the BEd program, but they must be completed by the end of the term preceding the start of the BEd program.
It is possible to maintain a part-time performance career while working in music education; however, we do not recommend this for students completing the 12-month degree program as it is an intensive program (12-month program = 24-month program condensed into 12 months).
This is a cohort program -- meaning you would go through most classes with the same team of students.
Completing music media coursework during your BMus or BEd degree may increase your employability upon graduation from the BEd program, as school districts increasingly seek teachers with backgrounds in this area.
A few scholarships are awarded (based on merit) upon completing BEd program coursework; therefore, such scholarships retroactively assist with program costs if won.
You will need a Bachelor of Music degree to enroll in this program.
- A minimum grade average of 65% is required. An applicant typically needs higher than 70% to gain admission to the program. The average is calculated on 30 credits of music courses relevant to admission, including first/second and third/fourth-year level.
- All performance, composition, and GMUS majors must meet the BEd pre-requisite requirements to be eligible for entrance into the program, even if such coursework is not part of your BMus degree. Some required courses may be in process when you apply for the BEd program, but they must be completed by the end of the term preceding the start of the BEd program.
- To have a second teachable area in addition to music, 18 credits at the 3rd and 4th-year level are required in the second teachable area; the only exception is English, which requires 24 credits of upper-level course work.
- It is possible to maintain a part-time performance career while working in music education; however, this is not recommended for students while completing the 12-month degree program as it is an intensive program (12-month program = 24-month program condensed into 12 months).
- This is a cohort program, meaning that students go through most classes with the same group of fellow students.
- Completing music media coursework during your BMus or BEd degree may increase your employability upon graduation from the BEd program, as school districts are increasingly seeking teachers with backgrounds in this area.
- Recent graduates of this program have had great success obtaining music teaching positions in the Lower Mainland and beyond. Note, however, that public school districts in the greater Vancouver area do not usually hire recent graduates right away into full-time continuing teaching positions. More typically, recent graduates begin in local school districts as teachers-on-call (i.e., substitute teachers), gain experience and a good reputation, and are eligible for full-time music teaching positions when they are posted. By contrast, graduates who seek to teach in local private schools, elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, or beyond are more frequently hired into full-time continuing positions immediately upon graduation.
- If you are a piano major, it is recommended that you obtain large ensemble experience singing in choirs and possibly playing in other ensembles as part of your BMus degree.
- A few scholarships are awarded (based on merit) upon completing BEd program coursework; therefore, such scholarships retroactively assist with program costs if won.