Music Education

Conduct Your Classroom’s Talent

Find your home in the Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music. Combine your passion for music with our education program and help the next generation of musicians find their inspiration. Learn how to teach and become a better musician. Give private and class instruction in piano, allowing you to accompany and better support your students.

Explore Music Education

As you grow into your teaching education, you will work with your professors to further develop your passion for teaching music.

What's the Difference? 

  • Attend classes, meetings and labs within a preK-5 elementary school located right on our campus.
  • Learn from DWU’s amazing professors; our low student to teacher ratio provides valuable
    one-on-one time with your mentors.
  • Complete more than 300 hours of classroom experience.
  • Design your unique one-semester student teaching capstone.

Music Education Courses

Where do you want to concentrate your efforts musically? Leading voices in song, instructing instruments or both? Talk about your options with your adviser. You will take a wide array of courses providing you with both the fundamentals of classroom teaching and the specific knowledge needed within your chosen specialty. Music Education students takes classes like:

MUS 342 Percussion Methods
1 Hours
Students will learn the basic technique of playing both pitched and unpitched percussion instruments with an emphasis on a basic understanding, care, maintenance and effective teaching of the instruments.
MUS 242 Elementary Music Methods and Materials
2 Hours
Students will learn about general methods and materials for teaching music in the elementary school. Students will consider relevant philosophies and practices; formulate instructional objectives; establish and evaluate learning experiences and develop instructional techniques for classes, small groups and individuals. The class emphasizes basic musicianship and activities and introduces classroom instruments commonly used. Students will plan and teach sample lessons and develop a bibliography.
MUS 116 Keyboard Skills I
1 Hours
Individual 30-minute weekly lessons for practical application at the keyboard of concepts studied in Music Theory I. Includes scales, intervals, triads, chord progressions, cadences, melodies with chordal accompaniment, sight-reading and transposition.
MUS 216 Keyboard Skills II
1 Hours
Individual 30-minute weekly lessons for practical application at the keyboard of concepts studies in Music Theory II. Includes non-chord tones, seventh chords, secondary dominants, modulation, 2-3 part score reading/piano pieces, harmonization, sight-reading, and transposition.
MUS 115 Fundamentals of Music
3 Hours
Students will learn tonal harmony in four-part writing using diatonic triads and seventh chords in all inversions. They will analyze musical excerpts related to voice leading, chord use and nonchord tones, and aural skills. Original compositions and other written projects are required. This course partially fulfills requirements leading to K–12 certification in vocal music. General Education: Effective Expression – Artistic Appreciation
SPD 470 Student Teaching K-12 Special Education
14 Hours
Candidates will student teach for 70 school days under the supervision of a certified special education teacher. The student teacher will be assigned to an elementary placement for 35 days and secondary placement for 35 days. This course is part of the professional semester and is taken with a two-credit seminar, which is part of the 16 hours for degree candidates. Candidates also meet during the professional semester for seminar requirements. This course is offered credit/no credit only. The DWU Student Teacher Handbook and seminar syllabus serve as the course syllabus. Prerequisites: Completion of all coursework required for graduation, 2.6 GPA submission of passing scores on required Praxis tests, admission from the education department faculty and approval for student teaching placement.
EDU 412 Adolescent Learners' Needs
3 Hours
This course will help prepare candidates to teach at the middle grade level. The course will develop an understanding of the middle school concept and the instructional strategies that support that concept. Field experience at the middle level will be required. Prerequisite: EDU 201.

Get to Know Your Professors

Become a teacher and learn from our fabulous teachers! Our low student-to-teacher ratio offers valuable one-on-one interaction with professors.

Ashley Digmann, Ed.D.

Education Department Chair

Clinton Desmond, DMA

Department Chair | Director of Choral Activities

Elizabeth Soladay

Instructor of Piano, Organ and Strings | LyricWood Orchestra Director

Erin Desmond, M.M.Ed.

Assistant Professor of Music | University Accompanist

Student Teaching

Don't worry about being on your own. Experience a full semester of student teaching before you graduate! You’ll complete at least 300 hours in the classroom in our program, so you'll start your career after college with confidence. Engage in classroom activities with local students and learn with your peers under faculty supervision.  

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              Join Dakota Wesleyan’s musical family as a vocalist or instrumentalist.


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