Facebook LinkedIn PinterestRSS Instagram Twitter Vine careerplus-badges careerplus-degree Created with Sketch. careerplus-employers Created with Sketch. careerplus-faq Created with Sketch. careerplus-individuals Created with Sketch. careerplus-local-experts Created with Sketch. careerplus-pricing careerplus-registration Created with Sketch. careerplus-responsive Created with Sketch. careerplus-self-paced Created with Sketch. careerplus-stackable Created with Sketch.

Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experience supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Fall 2021 Return to Campus Information
COVID-19 Communication

Music Education

Bachelor of Arts

Possessing a true love for both music and teaching makes you an ideal candidate for our unique music education major program. Clarke’s bachelor of music education professionally prepares you for a career as a music teacher at both the elementary and secondary levels. You will hone your talents in contemporary music methodology and receive practical musical training. You’ll also have many hours teaching in the classroom even before your student teaching begins. This added classroom experience enhances your résumé and can be a key to landing your first music teaching job.

Perhaps you’ve asked yourself, are there any music education major colleges near me? Check out our campus visits and virtual visits in Dubuque, Iowa, so you can see for yourself that Clarke is one of the best music teachers degree in the Midwest. Our bachelor of arts in music education prepares you for a career as a music teacher at both the elementary and secondary levels. You will hone your talents in contemporary music methodology and receive professional music training not only on campus, but also through frequent partnerships with area K-12 schools and teachers. In our Music Ed Degree program, we strive to educate and prepare music teachers who will influence the cognitive, moral, and social development of children in kindergarten through high school in today’s multicultural world. Graduates of our music education major will possess real-world experience and demonstrate the programmatic outcomes as licensed, professional educators who become influential teachers in Dubuque, Iowa, locally, and throughout the nation and beyond.

While our music education major curriculum is rooted in the classical music tradition, at Clarke you will also experience world music, jazz, living composers, folk music, and music of many styles. Our faculty’s diverse expertise and breadth of knowledge will ensure that you excel in your primary instrument and area of concentration while deepening your knowledge and skills in music theory and history. Our music courses in our music education major program are designed for music majors who want to pursue a career in the world of music or those who want to minor in music to master their instrument.

Professional Development School

Clarke music education degree students go directly into classrooms and have the opportunity to teach and inspire K-12 students. This is the heart of our music education major program — the Professional Development School (PDS). This is a unique, hands-on experience in which teaching degree students interact with children in their actual classrooms while developing their unique teaching skills. Each PDS classroom is taught by two professors in residence who guide and support the Clarke students during the beginning of their teaching experiences. Together, the PDS partners and the university work to provide the Clarke bachelor of education students with optimal learning experiences as they develop knowledge of what it means to be a teaching professional in an elementary or secondary classroom. Learning this through methods courses taught onsite in an elementary school provides rich experiences for the preservice teachers and gives them a depth of understanding that is not possible when a class is located on campus and professors are not in the field.

More specifically, music courses in our teaching degree are blocked together and taught on-site at two elementary schools in the city of Dubuque. Two state-licensed teacher educators are assigned to each PDS student; together, they share the responsibility for teaching the courses and supervising the university students. Typically between ten and fifteen junior-level students are enrolled in each block; their presence is an important element in the culture of each school. Content of the methods courses is interwoven with opportunities to teach and interact with the elementary students, seamlessly connecting the theory of teaching with the actual practice of teaching.


Program Details

For a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education, leading to K-12 music teacher certification in education, you’ll complete 41 hours of music courses, 19 hours of music education courses, and 29 hours of education courses. You’ll learn to perform, analyze, and compose music of various styles and cultures at a high level of technical and artistic skill. You’ll learn to implement technology in support of teaching, creating, recording, and performing music. A music education major participates in an ensemble and attends recital classes and concerts. You will gain first-hand experience at Dubuque’s elementary and high schools where methods classes are taught on-site though the Professional Development School (PDS) component.

Get Ahead of Your Peers!

Our Early-Access Master of Arts in Education Program (MAE) offers eligible undergraduate music education students the opportunity to complete up to 15 hours of graduate credit, which can be applied to the completion of a 36 credit hour Master’s degree. Consider our Early-Access Program in instructional leadership. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching from Clarke have the opportunity to complete up to 15 hours of graduate credit in their junior year at the undergraduate price along with an early entrance into the Clarke University Online Master of Arts in Education.

Once you have completed your undergraduate bachelor’s degree in music education, you will proceed through the MAE Program in an online format. Students who continue taking one class at a time during the academic year and two classes in the summers will complete the seven remaining courses of their program within 14 months after graduation. However, you may take up to seven years to complete the MAE program after officially beginning your graduate program as a graduate student in the MAE program.

Classes You'll Take

Admission to Clarke University

All potential music education degree-seeking students are required to audition either in person or video prior to registration.

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

But what about a career with my music teacher degree?

A BA in music education degree also places you on the right path for many other careers other than that of a music teacher, such as:

  • Musician
  • Principal
  • Chamber musician
  • Choir teacher
  • Marching band or spirt band teacher
  • Music counseling
  • Artists and repertoire representative
  • Agent
  • Artist Manager
  • Arranging
  • Arts Administrator
  • Business management
  • Broadcast engineer
Atrium Interior

Meet Our Faculty

When our BA in music education degree graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime. This is definitely the case with our bachelor of music education graduates.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Sharon Jensen, DMA

Sharon Jensen, DMA

Assistant Professor of Music

I think it’s important for music students to learn from a performer. I perform regularly as a soloist and collaborative musician.

Amy Dunker, DMA

From avant-garde improvisation to minimalistic sound sculptures to neo-romantic echoes, I delve deeply into the nature of human experience.

Amanda Huntleigh, DMA, CLMA

I strive to nurture each musician holistically through musical excellence and human compassion. My goal is to create a space where people feel comfortable taking risks as they develop their own artistry, and engage with music.

Getting ready to take notes in a Clarke University English Class
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Nitshelle Duverseau

Nitshelle Duverseau

Music Education '19

In teaching music, I love that moment when you see a student’s mind light up, and they just GET it!

Julie Thomas

Julie Thomas

Music Education '00

My degree from Clarke shaped me into the teacher I am today. 15 years into my teaching, I am still excited and passionate about music and making music with all my choirs. The care and attention of the Clarke faculty to me as a student is how I hope to treat my own students.


The Clarke University Music Department is the only Catholic school in Iowa accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Student/faculty interaction

Music education students work one-on-one with faculty in intense performance situations with individual performance and design instruction.

On stage

Each year, music and music education majors participate in a collaborative theatrical experience such as an opera or musical theatre performance.


Clarke University is an institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Clarke’s music education program is also approved by the Iowa Department of Education.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Music Education for Yourself

Atrium Interior