Music Education and Performance, B.M.

This tool should only be used as a guide — remember to meet with your academic adviser, Career Services and/or faculty to determine appropriate career options.

The best music degrees help you find the right outlets for your creativity.

Oakland University’s bachelor of music equips you with the tools to succeed creatively and professionally. You’ll join a vibrant community of performers, educators, and composers, earning a music degree that expands your career possibilities. Our music major combines academic rigor with artistic freedom, so you can sharpen core skills and push your boundaries. And you’ll get plenty of hands-on practice in our bachelor of music program, gaining experience in concert venues, K-12 classrooms, community music programs, and other settings. Whether you seek to teach, perform, pursue graduate studies, or build your career around multiple activities, our music degree gives you the opportunity to explore and the foundation to succeed. Entrance auditions for the bachelor of music program are held several times a year. 

Bachelor of Music Degree: The Oakland University Advantage

Our music degree stands out for its personal, face-to-face approach. You’ll build close relationships with your professors, getting far more one-on-one instruction than larger bachelor of music programs offer. And Oakland University’s diverse, dynamic campus provides a welcoming environment, giving you the freedom to explore your talent, develop your artistic identity, and cultivate a versatile set of marketable skills.

Our bachelor of music puts you on the path to success because it offers:

  • Community engagement. School districts and other community organizations actively recruit Oakland University music majors for internships, workshops, and similar projects. You’ll work with diverse populations in all kinds of educational settings, gaining more than 100 hours of hands-on experience before you even begin your student-teaching assignment.
  • Music-specific education classes. We believe music teachers require a different set of techniques than academic-focused classroom educators. That’s why our bachelor of music provides a full complement of music-specific education courses, rather than drawing on School of Education coursework as many music degrees do. Upon graduation, you’ll be qualified to sit for the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) for music education.
  • Strong faculty role models. You’ll learn from consummate professionals who’ve achieved distinction as performers, educators, and academicians. Our music faculty teach from first-hand experience, sharing life lessons and personalized guidance that go far beyond the bachelor of music curriculum.
  • Performance opportunities. Music majors at Oakland University rarely have to wait long to stand in the spotlight. Freshman routinely perform in ensembles or as solo acts, appearing in first-rate venues on campus and in the community. We produce more than 150 events each year, allowing you to develop your stage presence and build a varied portfolio that truly showcases your talent. 

Music Education Careers

Our bachelor of music degree offers excellent preparation for teaching jobs in K-12 school districts. However, not all music majors seek jobs after graduation. Many of our graduates earn a living by marketing their musical talent in multiple ways, integrating income from a variety of sources. Others continue to graduate school, and our alumni have an excellent admission rate.

Because our music degree is so versatile, you can adapt it for almost any career pathway. Possibilities include:

  • Music teacher
  • Performer
  • Conductor
  • Accompanist
  • Studio musician
  • Nonprofit director
  • Composer or arranger
  • Concert reviewer
  • Choir director
  • Musical theater director

Music Education Degree: What You’ll Study

To gain admission to the bachelor of music program, you must first pass an entrance audition. After completing initial coursework, you will then complete a major-standing audition to proceed to upper-level courses.

Our music major stands out for its emphasis on music-specific teaching courses. Curriculum covers a broad range of subject areas, including:

  • Keyboard technique
  • Vocal technique
  • Music theory
  • Music history
  • Global music
  • Percussion
  • Brass
  • Strings
  • Woodwinds
  • Conducting
  • Marching band
  • Educational psychology and music
    • Teaching in band and orchestra classrooms
    • Teaching in choral classrooms
    • Teaching in elementary classrooms
    • Creating an inclusive classroom