Music Education Major

Brian Chinn Teaching

Are you a musician with an interest in developing your skills and studying music so that you can teach others? SPU's Music Education Major offers a rich and rigorous foundation for teaching music.


With one of the strongest education schools in the state and a top-notch Music Department, we offer you an outstanding program to prepare you as a music teacher. A major in Music Education will help you to hone your musical gifts while preparing you to share these gifts by teaching others. The Music Education degree also provides you with advanced study in music theory, history, and diverse music genres.

By choosing a major in Music Education, you can prepare for a solid career with certification for teaching music to P–12 students, whether you choose to teach in public or private schools, in private studios, or in youth music-ministry contexts.

Music education classes include a sequential program with observation and experience in local schools, along with study of materials and methods that builds toward internships and careers in music education. Music coursework prepares you to take the state-required teaching tests for endorsements in choral/vocal, instrumental, and general music.

Major Courses and Degree Requirements

SPU’s Education program is accredited at the state and national levels, and our graduates are among the most sought-after educators in the field. You'll benefit from a combination of class and field work, which includes opportunities for diverse experiences within public and private school settings in urban and suburban Seattle. Each component of the program is designed to sharpen your skills, develop your competence and character, and prepare you for teaching and service.

Undergraduate teacher candidates complete all requirements for a bachelor’s degree in addition to the requirements for the P–12 Residency Teacher Certification Program. Music Education majors are prepared to meet endorsement requirements for choral/vocal, instrumental, and/or general music endorsements. Courses are specially designed to meet state education requirements while also addressing music areas of specialization, such as "Music in Special Education" and "Music Technology" courses.

As a Music Education Major, you will follow an integrative approach to advanced musicianship. You will study music theory, aural skills, and music styles and history from early Middle Ages to the 21st century. You will study multicultural music, music composition, technology, instrumentation, and orchestration.

You will also have the opportunity to reflect on the integration of music and faith, as well as your sense of vocation, as you study in depth great works such as Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion," Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” Brahms’ “German Requiem,” and Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony.” You will participate in large and small ensembles, performing classic repertoire, jazz, worship, and world music genres.

The minimum total quarter credits required for the degree is 119.

View the major courses and degree requirements.

Entering the Major

You may enter the Music Education major during your first quarter at SPU. Entrance after your first quarter requires only good academic standing (2.0 or higher SPU cumulative GPA). Consult the undergraduate catalog for complete information on how and when to enter and what you must do to complete the program.   

Career Opportunities

  • Choral Director
  • Church Youth Music Minister
  • Composer/Arranger
  • Conductor
  • P–12 Music Teacher (Choral/Vocal, Instrumental, and General)
  • Music Curriculum Designer
  • Music Festival Coordinator
  • Music Museum Education Director
  • Music Professor
  • Studio Music Teacher

Faculty Contact

Christopher Hanson

Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Music Education and Orchestral Activities
PhD, Texas State University

Office: Crawford 205
First Generation student

Did You Know?

Help Icon Director of Percussion Dan Adams repairs Civil War percussion instruments and makes them available for use by SPU music students.

Christopher Hanson

Why I Teach at SPU

Christopher Hanson, Director of Music Education and Orchestra: Assistant Professor of Music

I teach in music and education to change the world … as the great Maxine Greene said so eloquently, “The arts, it has been said, cannot change the world, but they can change human beings, who can change the world.” In short, my existence as a music educator as well as a human being is presented as such: Through both faith and perseverance I live daily, through my daily survival I learn, through my education I become wiser, and through my wisdom I share the knowledge I obtain.