Graduate Certificate: Music Teaching

Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts / BOYER COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND DANCE

Learn more about the graduate certificate in Music Teaching.

About the Certificate

The graduate certificate program in Music Teaching offers those with at least a bachelor’s degree in music or its equivalent a pathway to becoming a certified PK-12 music teacher in Pennsylvania. The goal is to achieve competencies and co-curricular credentials required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in preparation for one semester of full-time PK-12 music student teaching and, ultimately, Temple University’s recommendation of the student to PDE for certification to teach PK-12 music in Pennsylvania.

In preparation to meet credentialing requirements, the student must have a 3.0 cumulative or higher GPA in their undergraduate degree; carry a 3.0 or higher GPA throughout their graduate certificate coursework; file evidence of four clearances annually by the required deadlines to engage in field, extern and student-teaching assignments; and file evidence of passing scores on two Praxis® exams: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (5511) and Music: Content Knowledge (5113). Up to 9 hours of certificate coursework completed with a grade of "B" or higher can be applied as electives to the MM in Music Education graduate program within two academic terms (i.e., Fall/Spring or Spring/Fall) of completing the certificate.

Students engage as preservice music teachers in preparation for general and choral or instrumental music student teaching at the elementary and secondary levels. Faculty guide certificate program students in learning, demonstrating, analyzing, applying, documenting and reflecting on PK-12 preservice music teaching skills, knowledge, attitudes and professional competencies comprising inclusive, contemporary music-education practices. Upon successfully meeting the certificate’s curricular and co-curricular requirements and demonstrating preprofessional dispositions, students are eligible for Temple University’s recommendation to PDE for Level I PK-12 Music Education Certification.

Time Limit for Certificate Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The certificate program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. The student-teaching semester requires a full-time commitment.

Accreditation: The degree programs of Boyer College of Music and Dance are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Areas of Specialization: All students complete specialization in general music coursework and, in their final semester, complete elementary student teaching. Upon application, applicants additionally declare either a choral or instrumental specialization to complete the minimum prerequisite courses in preparation for secondary student teaching in their final semester. The choral or instrumental specialization focuses the student’s secondary student-teaching placement.

Job Prospects: With PK-12 music certification from PDE, graduates can apply for music teaching jobs within Pennsylvania. For information about the portability of the PK-12 music certification from PDE to other states in the United States, visit and/or contact

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students admitted to the certificate program are classified as non-matriculated graduate students by the University, since the program does not lead to a degree. No portion of the Music Teaching curriculum can be completed by credit transfer from another institution. Credit earned in Music Teaching can only be transferred to the Music Education MM program and is limited to 9 credits.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1
Spring: November 15

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate certificate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities, talents and aptitude for graduate study in general and PK-12 music teaching.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, which is based on a curriculum of 124 to 135 hours. A GPA of 3.0 or higher must have been attained.

In addition, departmental review of the application may identify competencies the applicant will need to achieve through additional coursework to best prepare for student teaching and recommendation to PDE for PK-12 music teaching in Pennsylvania. Graduate certificate students may opt to take additional credits.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A degree in Music is preferred. Submit all official transcripts for all coursework taken previously from all institutions attended, whether or not a degree was awarded.

Applicants who have fluent music skills and flexible musicianship with a bachelor's degree in a different discipline are encouraged to contact Dr. Alison Reynolds at

Statement of Goals: Provide a written account of your accomplishments to date, your goals and expectations for the program, your goals for beyond the program, and your special interests in becoming certified in Pennsylvania to teach PK-12 music.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 90
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 61

NOTE: As of May 2020, applicants to PDE for PK-12 music certification who earned their baccalaureate or higher degree in a country other than the United States may be eligible for certification if they meet PDE’s requirements. For more information, visit

Resume: Your current resume must be submitted electronically with other supporting application materials.

Interview: After the complete admissions application has been received by Temple University, applicants should contact Dr. Alison Reynolds at to schedule an interview.

Academic and Musical Profile (AMP): The Academic and Musical Profile (AMP) consists of two parts:

  1. Music Skills: At the time of application, applicants submit a digital video of no more than 15 minutes. The video should feature clips in which applicants demonstrate their musicianship and the types of activities they currently associate with music teaching and learning interactions, with at least one other person engaging in the activities with them. If declaring Choral, applicants need to feature music-making using their singing voice, but are welcome to demonstrate their ability to play other instruments. If declaring Instrumental, applicants need to feature music-making playing a primary instrument and their singing voice, but are welcome to demonstrate their ability to play other instruments. Given complications related to COVID-19, video recording of online engagement featuring musicianship and communication skills of the applicant are acceptable. All applicants should include a brief written narrative explaining the contents of the video.
  2. Writing: Upon completing the formal half-hour application interview, applicants agree to a 90-minute session during which they complete the writing portion of the AMP. This allows applicants to feature their best writing in real time in response to prompts resonating with each applicant's lived experiences. The exam is evaluated by Music Education faculty. Results are considered in the admissions decision.

Other: Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in admission decisions of the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Graduate applicants may be rejected for admission for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the above-mentioned criteria, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.

Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit any additional information that will help the faculty making an admissions decision. Additional items may include, but are not limited to, digital recordings of compositions or arrangements, recordings of performance groups, lesson or rehearsal plans, curriculum development material, and recital performance recordings.

Finally, additional fees are applicable for some courses, lessons and ensembles.

Certificate Requirements

Number of Credits Required to Complete the Certificate: 25

Required Courses:

Elementary General Music/Choral Track1

Core Courses
MUED 5661Teaching Students with Special Needs3
MUED 5665Music Learning and Development3
MUED 5669Teaching Choral Music to Inclusive Populations (TCMIP)3
MUED 5672School Choral Ensembles2
MUED 5678Inclusive Vocal Development2
MUED 5696Teaching General Music to Inclusive Populations (TGMIP)3
TESL 5631Foundations of Language Teaching: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners3
Student Teaching Courses
MUED 5168Student Teaching Seminar2
MUED 5189Student Teaching Elementary2
MUED 5289Student Teaching Secondary2
Total Credit Hours25

Elementary General Music/Instrumental Track1

Core Courses
Select four from the following: 24
Woodwinds I
Upper Strings
Lower Strings
Brass I
Brass II
Woodwinds II
MUED 5661Teaching Students with Special Needs3
MUED 5665Music Learning and Development3
MUED 5667Teaching Instrumental Music to Inclusive Populations (TIMIP)3
MUED 5696Teaching General Music to Inclusive Populations (TGMIP)3
TESL 5631Foundations of Language Teaching: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners3
Student Teaching Courses
MUED 5168Student Teaching Seminar2
MUED 5189Student Teaching Elementary2
MUED 5289Student Teaching Secondary2
Total Credit Hours25

GPA Required to be Awarded the Certificate: 3.0 minimum

Additional Requirements:

All degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.

Standards of Scholarship:
The following standards of scholarship apply for students in the Music Teaching graduate certificate program:

  • Maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in each course to ensure the certificate student maintains an overall 3.0 or higher GPA required by PDE for Level I PK-12 Music Education Certification in Pennsylvania.
  • Students who earn below a 3.0 in a single certificate course may repeat the same course once to replace the original grade. If after repeating the course once without satisfactorily raising the grade, the certificate student is dismissed from the certificate program.

Additionally, these time-sensitive co-curricular requirements must be met by students in the certificate program:

  • Upon full-time entry to the certificate program, the student must apply for student teaching.
  • Prior to the student-teaching semester, the certificate student is required to complete sequenced coursework and field placements. During the sequence, the student learns, demonstrates, analyzes, applies, documents and reflects on preservice music teaching skills, knowledge, attitudes and professional competencies comprising inclusive contemporary music education practices, including demonstrating preprofessional dispositions.
  • Additional co-curricular requirements must also be met as follows:
    • As directed by the guidelines of the College of Education and Human Development in conjunction with Boyer College's Department of Music Education and Therapy, the certificate student is responsible for annually filing evidence of all clearances. School districts require the clearances for students engaging in observation, field, extern and student-teaching assignments in PK-12 school-music contexts.
    • Without evidence of clearances filed, the certificate student cannot enter PK-12 school-music contexts. Thus, without clearances, the certificate student cannot complete certificate course requirements and will not be permitted to retain enrollment in certificate program classes.
    • One semester prior to the student-teaching semester, the certificate student updates the student-teaching application and participates in a scheduled formal interview with the Coordinator of Student Teaching. Together, the student and coordinator review the application for remaining requirements and projected achievements relative to their completion. Placements are not confirmed at that time. Instead, types of experiences in music teaching and learning are prioritized, and conversations are held about transportation and the timing of elementary and secondary placements.
    • Ninety days prior to student teaching, the certificate student needs to have filed evidence of passing scores on two Praxis® standardized tests required by PDE, including Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (5511) and Music: Content Knowledge (5113). Certificate students are responsible for filing the scores with the Department of Music Education and Therapy in addition to having requested that the Praxis® scores be sent to Temple University.

Student Teaching Semester:
With prerequisite coursework and all co-curricular requirements completed, the certificate student is eligible to engage daily (i.e., Monday through Friday mirroring the hours and activities of students assigned to the music teacher’s school day) over one semester of music student teaching in two placements: elementary and secondary. The certificate student is responsible for transportation to and from the placement sites.

During the student-teaching semester, the certificate student is required to continue to have filed clearances through the end of the semester and to maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA. The certificate student is assigned to a cooperating school music teacher and to a Boyer College of Music and Dance supervising faculty member for the elementary and secondary placements. Certificate student teachers may be observed informally in each placement and will be observed formally twice during each student-teaching placement using form PDE-430: Pennsylvania Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice. Being formally and informally observed prepares the certificate student for entering the in-service music teaching profession.

In the weekly student-teaching seminar, typically held in person Mondays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., certificate music students professionally plan and reflect on all assignments.

Culminating Event: Successful completion of coursework and the student teaching experience constitute the culminating event.


Certificate Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Music Education and Therapy

Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts/Boyer College of Music and Dance

2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6079


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Alison Reynolds, PhD



Alison Reynolds, PhD