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The Bachelor of Music Education program at MSU Denver is one of the most highly regarded music education programs in the state. Our inclusive and progressive environment allows you to flourish as you develop the music and teaching skills you will need in your career as a K-12 music teacher. 

You will benefit from hands-on experience observing and working with practicing teachers – and student teaching yourself – in diverse classrooms across the Denver metropolitan area. Let our creative, innovative curriculum spark your imagination while our dedicated faculty guide and mentor you to become a successful music teacher at any level in today’s K-12 school environment.

Learn about scholarships for Music students.


Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver


With state-of-the-art performance venues and internationally recognized professors, the Department of Music at MSU Denver serves as a leader in the education of performers, teachers, and music industry professionals and offers the best higher education value in Colorado. Our diverse curriculum flows through classical, jazz, commercial, and world music to help you navigate the broad range of opportunities that exist for the 21st-century musician.

MSU Denver’s music faculty are among the finest performers, scholars, and educators in the nation. Each brings a commitment to and passion for music education that creates a rich, familial atmosphere to foster student success and achievement.

Our location in vibrant Downtown Denver places you in the heart of the city’s rich and diverse cultural district. We provide ample performing opportunities both on campus in the beautiful King Center Concert and Recital Halls, and off campus with concerts at Dazzle, the Mercury Café, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to perform in fully staged operas, musicals, and festivals hosted annually on campus like the Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival and the Mile High Jazz Festival. We partner with  organizations such as the Colorado Wind Ensemble and the Playground Ensemble to give you experience working with professional musicians.

The Music Department at MSU Denver is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.


Career Opportunities for Our Graduates


Image of choir, flute player, conductor, and percussion player

As a Bachelor of Music Education graduate, you can anticipate a median annual salary of $50,934 for a K-12 teaching position and $50 an hour (national average) as an individual instructor, according to careersinmusic.com. Here are more examples of median annual salaries for music education-related positions according to careersinmusic.com:

  • Band Director $50,353
  • Choir Director $50,767
  • K-12 Music Teacher $50,934
  • Accompanist $34,045
  • Composer $40,452
  • Conductor $49,435
  • Musicologist $52,843
  • Orchestrator $62,377

Hear from our students:


“My degree set me above other graduates in my application pool because of the involvement of MSU Denver’s students and faculty with local districts. I think the high level of involvement is unique, and I feel like schools took a closer look at me because they knew MSU Denver and the quality of its music program. I spent a lot of time in classrooms as part of my education, and that experience has been invaluable.”

—Tillifinney Smith, MSU Denver '12, is an elementary music teacher.

Faculty


Image of Carla AguilarCarla E. Aguilar

Director of Music Edication

Carla E. Aguilar is an associate professor and the Director of Music Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Carla earned her Ph.D. in music education from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She also earned a Master’s degree from the Jacobs School and a Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, both in Music Education. Her current teaching duties include undergraduate courses in music education including Foundations of Music Education and The Inclusive Music Classroom. She also teaches a course on the integration of music into the elementary classroom. In addition, she observes student teachers in music and works with music students in their field experience placements. Carla is also the faculty advisor for the collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education at MSU Denver.  Her research interests include policy related to music education, access to music education, student-centered learning, and arts integration. She has presented her research at the American Educational Researchers Association, the National Association for Music Education’s Biennial Conference, the International Society for Music Education, and the Society for Music Teacher Education. She continues to perform with the 38th Infantry Division Indiana Army National Guard Band from Indianapolis, Indiana as a flute and piccolo player.

Image of David KishDavid Kish

Director of Bands

David Kish directs the MSU Denver Symphonic Band and teaches conducting and music education courses. He also serves as Conductor and Musical Director for MSU Denver’s Ensemble in Residence, the Colorado Wind Ensemble. David has taught instrumental music at all educational levels, including a position as Associate Director of Bands and Franklin Fellow at the University of Georgia. His writings on wind literature, conducting pedagogy, and music education have been published in The Instrumentalist Magazine, Journal of Band Research, Music Educators Journal, and four volumes of the popular resource texts Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. David recently authored Volume VI of his book series Guides to Band Masterworks, published by Meredith Music Publications and distributed by Hal Leonard Corporation.

 

Image of MB KruegerMB Krueger

Director of Choral Activities

MB Krueger, mezzo soprano, directs the MSU Denver Chorale and Women’s Choir and teaches conducting and musical theatre. Active as a clinician for middle school, high school, and college choral festivals, she has presented voice workshops for amateur singers in theatre and church programs. MB performs with the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Choir, and has also sung professionally with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Santa Fe Opera, Ars Nova Singers, and Diverse Passions Early Music Ensemble. She holds a BM in Music Education and Voice from Michigan State University, and a MME with an emphasis in Choral Conducting from Miami University.

 

Image of Brandon MatthewsBrandon Matthews

Director of Orchestra

Dr. Brandon Matthews serves as Director of Orchestra at MSU Denver where he teaches conducting, leads the University’s Symphony Orchestra, and serves as music director for MSU Denver’s Opera Ensemble. Dr. Matthews is also an active adjudicator and clinician for competitions and honor orchestras, and regularly collaborates with orchestras and arts organizations in Colorado including the Arapahoe Philharmonic, Longmont Dance Theatre, the Boulder Symphony, and the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra. Matthews obtained a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting at Arizona State University, and a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at Brigham Young University. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at BYU, and continues to perform on piano, viola, and the violin.

 

Learn more about MSU Denver Music faculty.


Featured Alumni


“My degree set me above other graduates in my application pool because of the involvement of MSU Denver’s students and faculty with local districts. I think the high level of involvement is unique, and I feel like schools took a closer look at me because they knew MSU Denver and the quality of its music program. I spent a lot of time in classrooms as part of my education, and that experience has been invaluable.”

—Tillifinney Smith, MSU Denver '12, is an elementary music teacher.


Alumni at Work


Graduates of MSU Denver’s Music Education program are working as teachers in every major school district throughout metropolitan Denver, including Denver, Jefferson County, Littleton, Cherry Creek and Aurora, and in cities throughout the state, such as Avon and Evergreen.

MSU Denver Music Education alumni have also pursued post-graduate education at Regis University, Colorado State University, University of Colorado Denver and Canyon University, among others.


Sample Classes


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As an MSU Denver Bachelor of Music major, you’ll receive private instruction, participate in ensembles, learn new instruments, have supervised field experiences, and take courses such as:           

  • Basic Conducting  
  • Foundations of Music Education
  • Musics of the World
  • The Inclusive Art and Music Classroom
  • Contemporary Music Ed Practice
  • String Techniques and Pedagogy

You’ll also take General Studies/Education requirements such as:

  • Issues in Multicultural Education Urban Secondary Schools
  • Developmental Educational Psychology
  • Teaching Literacy Development in the Content Areas

See the full course sequence:

Bachelor of Music Education (PDF)


Facilities and Resources


As a Bachelor of Music Education major, you’ll study and perform in the King Center on the Auraria Campus. This modern performing arts complex houses top-of-the-line educational facilities and performance venues including the 520-seat concert hall with a stage accommodating a 150-piece orchestra, the more intimate recital hall, a theatre, a recording studio, a music and dance studio, and numerous production studios.

You will also be studying on a campus within walking distance of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and many music venues.


Program Accreditation


image of NASM logo

Image of NCATE logo

MSU Denver is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Bachelor of Music Education degree program is accredited by the Colorado Department of Teacher Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.


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