Music Education Degree



Why a B.M.E. Degree in Music Education?

The Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) is a hands-on, engaging degree program that gives you the certification you need for a career teaching K-12 choral, instrumental, or general music.




Photo of Holman LibraryAbout the Music Education Major

Housed in the Division of Visual and Performing Arts, the B.M.E. gives you the comprehensive background you need to meet the requirements of the Illinois Content Area Standards in Music. Graduates are equipped to receive the Initial Special K-12 Certificate in Music, which qualifies them to teach instrumental and vocal music in elementary and secondary schools.

2023-2024 Program Catalog





Minor in Music

The Music minor is offered to students who choose to major in a different field, but would still like to incorporate music in their curriculum. It is available to all majors and includes classes in music theory, conducting, and applied lessons.

Music Minor Requirements



Performances Ensembles

Our Music program boasts many outstanding and diverse performance ensembles, giving you the opportunity to earn scholarship funds, meet lifelong friends, and have fun showcasing McKendree’s musical talent.

        • Concert Band

        • Wind Ensemble
        • Concert Choir
        • Chamber Choir
        • Jazz Ensemble
        • Jazz Combos
        • Chamber Ensembles for Woodwinds, Strings & Brass

        • Percussion Ensemble




Photo of McKendree's Entryway MonumentWhy McKendree?

McKendree University provides you with interactive learning opportunities through our small class sizes, experienced faculty, and unique internship experiences that move you beyond the classroom. We are committed to your success in the degree programs we offer, the internships and extracurricular activities that will set you apart, and the college experience you’ll get here. Just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri, McKendree University is located in historic Lebanon, Illinois, and affords students a host of enriching cultural, career, and entertainment opportunities.



Program Highlights


  • More than 10 different performance ensembles in everything from jazz combo to concert band enable you to make lasting memories doing what you love while earning scholarship funds.

  • Music in Our Schools program allows you to introduce local children to the art of music through concerts, events, and interactive clinics.

  • The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts: Opened in 2006, the Hett gives music students an impressive venue to demonstrate their talents to audiences. Perform in this state-of-the-art theater that’s hosted countless professional dancers, musicians, and actors from around the world.




Photo of McKendree Seal MarkerUnique Teaching Experiences

Music Education students have numerous opportunities to teach before their formal student teaching placement. Refine your conducting skills and rehearsal techniques from the sight-reading to the performance as you conduct McKendree’s concert choir, concert band, and the concert band for the Young People’s Concert Series.




Employment Opportunities

Music Education majors find employment as private music teachers, as well as band and choral directors for K-12 schools. Our graduates lead music programs for school districts all across the state of Illinois.




What Our Students & Alumni Are Saying


Quotation GraphicMcKendree faculty believed in me from the start. With the small class sizes, I got the one-on-one attention I needed and gained the knowledge to help me inside and outside the classroom, which I now transfer to my students. Now, I’m teaching as the main director at a great school with great kids and I owe McKendree for giving me the confidence, knowledge, and passion to do so.”

~ Hope Waters ’16, K-12 Music Director for Morrisonville Community Unit School District #1 in Morrisonville, Illinois


Quotation GraphicMcKendree really prepared me for going into my own career as a music educator! Throughout my time earning my degree, I learned more than just material out of a textbook. I learned how to deal with real life situations in the classroom, what it really means to be an educator, and so much more! McKendree was an amazing place to call home for the four years that I attended, and I couldn't have asked for better professors to help me become successful and to make my first years as a music educator go smoothly.”

~ Megan Zurliene ’15, Sesser-Valier Community Unit Schools #196 Director of Bands in Sesser, Illinois




Interesting Courses


  • Music Technology

  • Band & Choir Organization

  • Jazz Band Techniques




Club Information / Honor Societies


  • Kappa Kappa Psi (National Honorary Band Fraternity)

  • Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honor Society)

  • National Association for Music Education



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Key Faculty


Photo of Jennifer Moder-Bell, Ph.D.Jennifer Moder-Bell, IPhD

Associate Professor of Music Education
Director of Bands
Hettenhausen Center for the Arts 1092
(618) 537-6428 



Full List of Music Department Faculty & Staff