Music Education

Natalie Nielsen with Professor of Music Dave Camwell

Success Stories

Natalie Nielsen ’11- Band Instructor In Iowa

“Simpson prepares music students for future success in a variety of ways, and it starts on the first day.” More…

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Music Education at Simpson College is a degree program which provides students with unique opportunities to pursue a career in teaching music.  Here students can secure a traditional foundation of the knowledge needed to teach students of all ages, as they develop their own skills in musicianship and performance.  Simpson Students find a variety of learning experiences available in a metropolitan community, where they may choose schools of a larger or more diminutive nature for their field experiences and student teaching semester.

Because we recognize the need for our students to value and advance current trends in music education and music advocacy, our long standing Workshops in Music Education Series hosts national and internationally recognized clinicians to the campus once each semester, for our students and teachers across the state and its neighboring communities. In addition, Simpson hosts numerous instrumental and choral contests and clinics that provide our secondary music education students marvelous networking experiences with secondary and collegiate directors in the teaching profession.

All of this, coupled with a faculty who are dedicated to students as they pursue their K-12 instrumental and vocal certification in music education, provides a distinctive environment and curriculum for our students who are discovering success at Simpson College. Check out our MUSIC ALUMNI page for a sample of what some of our successful graduates are doing in the field of music.

NOTE TO STUDENTS: In some cases, the Iowa State Department of Education requirements change after a College Catalog has been published. It is essential that students work with the Education Department's Program and Advising Handbook in order to ensure compliance with current state regulations.

Core Courses in the Bachelor of Music Degree (B.M.)

Required: (Credits)
•Mus 151-152 Theory 1 & 2 (6)
•Mus 153-154 Aural Skills 1 & 2 (2)
•Mus 251-252 Theory 3 & 4 (6)
•Mus 253-254 Aural Skills 3 & 4 (2)
•Mus 101 Survey of Music Literature (2)
•Mus 201 Medieval and Renaissance Music (2)
•Mus 202 Music of the 17th and 18th Centuries (2)
•Mus 203 Music of the 19th through 21st Centuries (2)
•Ensembles (8 credits required) - Participation in at least 2 different ensembles is requried.
          •Mus214: Ensembles (1)
          •Mus014: Chamber Music (0)
          •Mus015: Opera (0)
•Mus 270 Applied Music (20)
•Mus 281 Conducting (2)
•Mus 283 Advanced Conducting (2)
•Mus 000A Senior recital - capstone (0)
•Mus 00X Piano proficiency (0)

Total (56)


Instrumental Methods and/or Vocal Methods:  
Required: (Credits)
•Mus 322 Elementary Music Methods (4)
•Mus 323 Secondary Music Methods (4)

Instrumental Track:
     Three methods courses from: (3)
          •Mus 181: Brass Methods (1)
          •Mus 182: Woodwind Methods (1)
          •Mus 183: String Methods (1)
          •Mus 184: Percussion Methods (1)
          •Mus 186: Guitar Methods (1)
     •Mus185: Vocal Methods (1)
     •Mus 284: Instrumental Techniques (2)
     •Mus 381: Marching Band Techniques (2)
     • Mus 382: Jazz Methods (2)

Vocal Track
     Four methods courses from: (4)
          •Mus 181: Brass Methods (1)
          •Mus 182: Woodwind Methods (1)
          •Mus 183: String Methods (1)
          •Mus 184: Percussion Methods (1)
          •Mus 186: Guitar Methods (1)
     •Mus 220 Diction for Singers I (1)
     •Mus 221 Diction for Singers II (1)
     •Mus 282 Choral Techniques (2)
Total (16-18)


Courses required outside the Music Department for Teacher Licensure in the Music Education Major (B.M.)  
Required: (Credits)
•Educ 114 Foundations of Education (4)
•Educ 118 Student Development and Learning (4)
•Educ 222 Assessment, Planning and Teaching (2)
•Educ 312 Exceptional Students (4)
•Educ 321 Human Relations in Teaching (4)
•Mus 241 Field Experience in Music (4) (offered in May Term)
•Educ 388 ML Student Teaching – Elementary (7)
•Educ 388 MS Student Teaching – Secondary (7)
•Educ 389 Student Teaching Seminar (1)

Total (37)


Explore Simpson’s Bachelor of Music (BM) degree in Performance.


Explore the BA degree with a major in Music


See what some of Simpson’s successful graduates are doing in the field of music.


Learn about Simpson’s stellar WORKSHOPS IN MUSIC EDUCATION – a fantastic opportunity to learn outside the classroom!


Learn more about Simpson’s Choral Ensembles here!


Learn more about Simpson’s instrumental program here