Locating an accelerated online Master’s in Music Education degree is not nearly as difficult as it once was. More schools are providing students with the chance to earn a graduate degree in ways that previously weren’t possible, and it’s all due to the fact that more and more professionals are demanding access to online programs that will not interfere with their personal or professional obligations. It’s also becoming clear that is possible, and perhaps more feasible, to teach music education online.

Music educators are interested in online programs because of the flexibility that they provide. Students can access their degree when they have time, can choose between part-time and full-time options, and can even choose schools that have accelerated tracks, eliminating much of the time they would normally spend in a traditional program. The rise of these types of programs has made it necessary to update this ranking to reflect the newest additions to the online education world.

Methodology

This ranking was made possible by the National Center for Education Statistics and its publicly available College Navigator database, both of which served as sources for the research conducted for this program. About 20 schools were chosen as the base for this ranking; they were found by searching for online Master’s in Music Education degrees and confirming that the programs were either fully or partially online. Each school was then individually reviewed and ranked on several factors, including tuition rates and estimated time to completion for each program. The final 15 programs below were chosen based off of the school’s total estimated in-state graduate tuition cost for the program.

Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Music Education

15. The University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education requires 33 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $20,980

The University of Florida is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that was designed to be completed in two years or less. This degree is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. This program was developed as a wholly online degree plan; there are no residency requirements. Students will take all of their courses online through the use of the school’s learning management system. Courses are held in either asynchronous or synchronous sessions, each of which lasts for 16 weeks. It is possible for a student to complete this degree in two years or less. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, the Capstone Project in Music Education, and a comprehensive written and oral final exam. Sample courses include Technology Assisted Musical Learning, Creative Thinking in Music, and Approaches to Theoretical Analysis in Music Education.

14. The University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Manoa, Hawai’i

Online Master of Arts in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MA in Music Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $19,500

Students who are interested in earning an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Music Education will want to check out the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. This program was designed to be offered as either a 100 percent online or hybrid course of study and was developed for professionals who have a background in the field. The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Students will note that this degree delivers all of its courses online through the school’s virtual portal. The courses, which can be delivered live or on-demand, are identical to the traditional program and also follow the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students will find that there is a variety of choice in the curriculum; most courses can be chosen from a directed electives list. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a research paper or project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Music in Special Education, History of Rock and Roll, and Music Cultures of the World.

13. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education requires 34 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $18,894

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is home to an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that can be completed in just 18 months when students choose to pursue a full-time plan of study. This degree is offered entirely online with no residency requirements; however, students can also opt for a hybrid format if they live close to campus. Students will complete a portfolio in lieu of a thesis, following the school’s belief that applied practice is best suited for a music education degree. All courses for this degree can be found online through the school’s learning management system and are held in live or on-demand sessions that last for 16 weeks. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 34 credit hours of coursework, the Advanced MM Portfolio Capstone Project, and a comprehensive written and oral final exam. Students are strongly encouraged to speak to the school’s admissions office for more information about this degree, licensure requirements and graduation requirements.

12. Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $17,040

The accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that is offered by Colorado State University was designed for PK-12 music educators as well as independent music educators. This is a low-residency program that requires one two-week summer residency every year for the duration of the degree plan. Students will find that their courses are made available to them through the school’s virtual portal and consists of live and on-demand courses that are held in 16-week terms. The average completion time for this degree is two years when students choose to study full-time. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Foundations of Music Education, Analytic Techniques, and Music of the Romantic Era.

11. Illinois State University

Normal, Illinois

Online  Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education has no residency requirement.

Website

Tuition: $16,995

Illinois State University confers an accelerated online master’s degree that was designed for professionals from all spaces within music. This is a wholly online degree; there are no residency requirements. Students may also choose to attend campus through the hybrid format. This program comes with the possibility to choose a concentration; some options include Curriculum, Conducting, Applied Vocal Lessons, or Educational Administration. Students will find that all of their courses are made available to them through the school’s learning management system; courses are held asynchronously or synchronously in the traditional 16-week academic term format. It is possible for a student who studies full-time to complete this degree in two years or less. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 35 credit hours of coursework, a comprehensive written exit exam, and a culminating experience. Sample courses include Pedagogy and Literature: Cello, Music in Therapy, and Advanced Foreign Language Dictation for Singers: French.

10. The University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $16,797

Students at the University of Northern Iowa have the chance to complete an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Music Education. This cohort online degree is offered to educators and working professionals and can be completed in two years or less. Students will be able to access all of their coursework through the school’s virtual portal; most courses are held live in the evenings and during the evenings. On-demand courses may also be available. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a research project, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Music History Survey for Graduates, Developments and Trends in Music Education, and Research and Writing in Music.

9. The University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education has no residency requirement.

Website

Tuition: $15,274

The University of Southern Mississippi provides ambitious students with an accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that was designed for working professionals who are interested in advancing into supervisory positions within the field. This degree is offered wholly online; there are no residency requirements. However, it is noted that some electives may require a two-week residency on campus; it is advised that students check the requirements for classes prior to signing up. Students will find that this degree is usually completed in two years or less just by taking two or three courses every term. All courses for this degree are located on the school’s learning management system and are delivered asynchronously or synchronously in the traditional 16-week academic term format. This program requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Educational Research: Interpretations and Applications, Music Education Curriculum Development, and Foundations and Principles of Music Education.

8. The University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Online Master of Arts in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MA in Music Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,943

The accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that is offered by the University of South Florida is offered to working professionals and music educators who are interested in a two-year degree that will not interfere with their current professional and personal lives. This is a low-residency program; a one-week residency is necessary for graduation. However, all coursework is available online and there is no need to attend campus to complete a core requirement. Students will instead complete all of their coursework through the school’s virtual portal; courses are held asynchronously or synchronously and in the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include History of Blues and Rock, Literature Review in Music Education, and Research Design and Methods in Music Education.

7. Campbellsville University

Campbellsville, Kansas

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education requires 32 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,768

Campbellsville University confers an accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that was designed to be completed in two years or less. This program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and was designed for and by music educators and working professionals. This degree will focus on the history and foundations of music as well as how technology has changed the field in the modern era. Students will be able to complete all of their courses online through the school’s learning management system; courses are held asynchronously or synchronously and in the traditional 16-week academic term format. There are two tracks for this degree: Thesis and Capstone. This will change only the culminating experience requirement for the degree. Other degree requirements include a minimum of 32 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Music Technology, Music Teaching and Learning: A Global Perspective, and Psychology of Music.

6. Adams State University

Alamosa, Colorado

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education offers three degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: $12,600

The accelerated online Master’s in Music Education conferred by Adams State University was designed to be completed in two years by full-time music educators and working professionals. This is a hybrid program that offers three concentrations: Performance, Conducting, and Composition. Students will note that concentration courses may require residence on campus for the duration of the course. All required courses for this degree are available online through the school’s virtual portal; these are held in live or on-demand sessions that take just 16 weeks to complete. Students will be expected to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a three-day residency, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Composition and Arranging, World Music and Culture, and Sociology and Psychology of Music Education.

5. Tarleton State University

Stephenville, Texas

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,129

Tarleton State University provides students with an accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that comes with a variety of options. The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. This degree is held entirely online; however, students near campus may opt for a hybrid format. It is possible to complete this degree in just two years with part-study. Students will find that the program also has options when it comes to the degree plan itself: these are coursework-only, thesis, or a curriculum project. Having these options makes it easier for students who have a set career path choose the best culminating experience for their needs. All courses for this degree are available through the school’s learning management system; courses are held mostly live in the evenings to better accommodate working professionals. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours and a culminating experience of their choice.

4. Anderson University

Anderson, South Carolina

Online Master of Music in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $10,950

Students at Anderson University are offered the chance to complete an accelerated Master’s in Music Education that can be completed in just two years. This is an exclusively online course of study, although students are given the option to participate in on-campus workshops and other intensives. Courses for this degree can be found through the school’s virtual portal and are delivered in live and on-demand sessions that last for seven weeks. This makes it possible for students to take just one course every term and still graduate within two years. This program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a portfolio, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. More information on this degree and its requirements can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

3. The University of West Georgia

Carrollton, Georgia

Online Master of Music with a Major in Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online MM in Music Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $10,527

The University of West Georgia confers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Music Education to working professionals who are already in the field. This program is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music and is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Students will note that this degree is offered wholly online; there are no residency requirements. The program is accessible through the school’s learning management system and offers asynchronous and synchronous courses that are held in the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include History and Philosophy of Music Education, Factors in Musical Learning, and Music History and Literature.

2. Northern State University

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Online Master of Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online Master of Music Education requires 31 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $10,221

The accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that is offered by Northern State University is perfect for working professionals who need access to a program that fits their schedule. This is a 100 percent online course of study; there are no campus residency requirements. Students will find all of their courses available through the school’s virtual portal; sessions are held live or on-demand in the traditional 16-week academic term format. It is possible to complete this degree in two years or less when students choose to follow a full-time plan of study. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 31 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Music Theory Analysis for the Educator, American Music Survey, and School of Music Administration.

1. Georgia College

Milledgeville, Georgia

Online Master of Music Education

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Music Education Online for 2019
The online Master of Music Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $9,783

Georgia College provides students with an accelerated online Master’s in Music Education that was designed for music educators who are interested in a liberal arts-focused curriculum. This is a wholly online course of study; there are no residency requirements. Instead, students will participate in live and on-demand courses that are found through the school’s learning management system. Courses are held in 16-week sessions, making it possible for a full-time student to complete this degree in two years or less. This degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a presentation or capstone project, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Community and Philosophical Music Perspectives, American Music and Politics, and Research in Music Education.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Affordable Accelerated Online Master’s in Music Education?

  • Music Librarian
  • Music Teacher PK-12
  • Director of Music
  • Higher Education Administrator
  • Choral Music Director
  • Adaptive Arts teacher
  • Non-Profit Performer
  • Supervisor of Music
  • Music Professor
  • Private Music Instructor
  • Orchestra Leader
  • Early Childhood Arts Educator
  • Academic Researcher
  • Movement Coach
  • Music Historian

How Much Can You Earn in this Field?

The median salary for music educators in America is around $50,000. The salary range is between $35,000 for entry-level positions and over $150,000 for supervisory positions within the field. This range includes all positions in the field that require a master’s degree in the field. Professionals will note that the range does not include additional forms of compensation, such as commissions and overtime, that are common for educators working in private settings.

However, music educators do not work in just school settings. Many of them work for nonprofits, libraries, museums, and even health services. They may work as directors of non-profit groups, become administrators in a therapy setting, head the music department in a museum, and more.

This means that these professionals have the potential to earn far more than if they stayed in school settings. It is possible for the most ambitious professionals in the field to make upwards of $150,000 should they choose to become C-level executives in the business world.

Another popular choice is working in church settings. Because of the inherent nature of church service, these professionals can expect to make far less than their private sector counterparts; many positions, which are full-time in the church, pay only $15,000 to $20,000 a year. It is strongly encouraged that students seeking this path take a look at average salaries in their area prior to making the decision to exclusively work in church settings.

What are the Various Disciplines of Music Education?

Music education is the relationship between music and education. While these seem obvious enough from the outset, it can actually be quite immersive. Because music is an art form that is subjective, music education explores how history, religion, culture, language, archaeology, and technology intersect to make distinctive musical voices all over the world.

Music educators will focus on theory, composition, instruments, history, and philosophy during their own education. This helps them place music within a variety of contexts that makes it easier to teach students about the musical form. As these are the main disciplines within the field, all professionals can expect to interact with them during their education.

However, some schools do offer concentrations in the field. These concentrations can focus on pedagogy, instruction, history, world music, and different genres. It is up to the professional who is taking on the program to choose what, if any, concentration they wish to take on.

Music education is an art form in and of itself. To teach a student about the importance of music and how it can lead to other creative endeavors is a beautiful gift, both to the teacher and the student. However, as the need for more graduate applicants arises, it has become difficult to find degrees that fit the needs of professionals. This ranking on the most affordable accelerated online Master’s in Music Education degrees aims to dispel the idea that it is not possible to find an online degree that will provide working professionals with a way forward in their career path.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Music Education Online.