Music teacher with cello instructs students

About Music Education

The Music Department at Buffalo State offers one of the most rigorous music programs in the United States. Our music education majors are immersed in hands-on teaching experiences that help them hone their teaching and performance skills before graduating.

In addition to having an obvious love for music and passion for teaching an instrument, leading a chorus, and teaching young children music theory, we believe music teachers must have a willingness to work with children at all talent levels and temperaments, and an abundance of patience, a high energy level, and a health sense of humor.

The graduate program in music education at Buffalo State is designed for the music teacher who already possesses an initial teaching certificate and a bachelor's degree in music education from an accredited institution. Ours is the only completely online master of music program with the State University of New York system.

Music Education (Pre-K–12), B. Mus.

Music Education, M.M.

Digital Music Production, Minor

Degree Information

Nationwide, the job outlook for music teachers is good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an estimated 8 percent growth in jobs for music teachers in elementary through high school, and a 12 percent increase in jobs for postsecondary art, music, and drama instructors.

Music education graduates receive a New York State Initial Certificate for teaching general, vocal, and instrumental music in New York State schools in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. In addition, our curriculum qualifies students for a wide variety of music teaching jobs beyond public and private schools.

Master of music education graduates are prepared to continued building their careers in general, vocal, and instrumental music in New York State schools in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Our recent graduates have landed teaching positions in Western New York, New York City, Arizona, California, and beyond. 

Other Professional Positions for Music and Music Education Graduates: If the classroom isn’t for you, there are many other career options. Graduates end up teaching music in research institutions, government agencies, community centers, and private tutoring companies. 

  • Agent 
  • Arranger (Film, TV)
  • Audio Engineer
  • Band Director (Military, Sports)
  • Choral Director
  • Composer (Film, TV)
  • Conductor
  • Cruise Ship Entertainer
  • Event Planner/Manager
  • Film Scorer
  • Instrument Builder/Repairer
  • Merchandise Manager
  • Music App/Game Developer
  • Music Critic/Reviewer
  • Music Store Owner/Manager
  • Orchestra Member
  • Radio Programmer/DJ
  • Recording Engineer
  • Recruiter/Talent Scout
  • Advertising Songwriter
  • Studio Manager
  • Tour Coordinator/Road Manager
  • Vocal Coach/Education



Dedicated Music Suite:  A residential living experience available to music majors who would like to live and learn together. Located in the center of campus, the suite is equipped with a practice room and a digital piano. 

The Klein Digital Music Studio:  This studio located on the third floor of Rockwell houses the Digital Music Ensemble, a group that performs exclusively with computers and state-of-the-art electronic music instruments and controllers.     

Partnership with Lindbergh Elementary School:  This professional development partnership gives music education majors additional hands-on teaching experience with local elementary school students. 

Music Forum:  This lecture-workshop series explores arts careers topics. Past guests have included department alumni enrolled in graduate programs nationally and prominent music professionals such as Buffalo Philharmonic Music Director JoAnn Falletta.

Recital Opportunities:  Students get additional performance experience during the year in solo and group recitals.   

Research and Study Abroad Opportunities:  Music majors have pursued study programs in Ireland and the UK, Italy, Spain, and Africa.  

Community Arts Academy:  Lab classes where music education majors, with faculty guidance, interact with infants and children in Saturday classes. 

Summer Research Fellowships: Buffalo State music education students have the chance to do summer research fellowships and work with faculty. Research topics have included global music traditions, Broadway musical theater history, and applications of music therapy to individuals with disabilities.  

SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference: All Buffalo State students have the opportunity to apply to present their original research at the SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference, held each spring at a different campus in the SUNY system.

Real-life Experience: Music education students enjoy plenty of real-life experience prior to graduation, including three field experience courses. These experiences help them gain experience in a wide variety of subjects, including band, chorus, and general music.  

Internships: An extensive music education internship program places students in a wide variety of sites in the vibrant Western New York arts community. Music majors may intern at multiple sites in order to sample diverse aspects of the arts industry. 

You Can Make a Difference

Do you have a lifelong passion for music, and the desire to share that passion with others? Are you patient and good with kids? Are you adept at setting goals? Buffalo State’s Music Education program might be right for you. 

Rigorous Preparation

Undergraduate music students complete at least four semesters of one-on-one instrumental or vocal study, six semesters of participation in a major ensemble, and a culminating capstone performance/study.

Graduate music education students complete such courses as Contemporary Issues in Music Education; Graduate Music Theory; and Social Commentary in Musical Theater. 

Outstanding Faculty

Our music faculty are internationally recognized and committed to giving students the pedagogical and musical skills they need to succeed in a modern music classroom. 

Unparalleled Job Placement

Graduates who possess a New York State initial teaching certifications and/or master’s degree enjoy almost 100 percent job placement in school settings.

Mobile Device Technology Integration

Students can access course content through their personal mobile devices during and outside of class.

Diverse Teaching Experiences

Students have the opportunity to develop their teaching skills with real students in urban, suburban, and rural schools. 

Scholarship Opportunities

Multiple scholarships are available for music education students, ranging from $500 to $3,000 per academic year and renewable for up to four years.

Multiple Music Facilities

Buffalo State boasts state-of-the-art music facilities including two recording studios, two performance halls, and one large ensemble rehearsal room.

Ensemble Options

There are 11 performance ensemble options for students, including BSC Philharmonia, Chorale, Digital Music, West African Drumming, Elmwood Swing (Vocal Jazz), Chamber Choir, Jazz, Wind, Percussion, Guitar, and Chamber. 

We Have a Digital Music Minor

The digital music production minor allows students to gain hands-on experience in music production and sound recording/mixing with digital instruments and equipment. 

Major Change Option

Upon completion of two full-time semesters and adequate grades, students in in the BA music program may apply or re-apply for admission to the music education program. 

Kerry Renzoni
“Once you sit on the floor with a child and help him or her develop musically, you know why you are working.” 
Kerry Renzoni Associate Professor, Music
Ellen M. Barnum Lecturer
Ho Eui H. Bewlay Professor
Emily W. Boyce Associate Professor
Gabrielle A. Carlo Lecturer
Janz C. Castelo Lecturer
Ivan Docenko Jr. Accompanist
Evan E. Drummond Lecturer
Bryan M. Eckenrode Lecturer
Mark H. Filsinger Associate Professor
John F. Fleischman Lecturer
Ricky L. Fleming Professor
Katelyn C. Fridmann Lecturer
Victoria J. Furby Associate Professor
Amy M. Glidden Lecturer
Carolyn Guzski Associate Professor
Jose T. Henriques Professor
Wendy L. Higgins Administrative Assistant 1
Mark H. Hodges Lecturer
Christopher P. Jacobs Lecturer
Erin N. Keppner Lecturer
Pim E. Liebmann Lecturer
Nora T. Murnane-Robertson Lecturer
Tiffany M. Nicely Lecturer
Daniel L. Pendley Lecturer
Kerry B. Renzoni Chair and Associate Professor
Kyle B. Resnick Lecturer
Jonathan C. Rizzo Accompanist
Kahlil P. Sarikey Lecturer
Karen E. Saxon Lecturer
Karen B. Schmid Lecturer
Elliot M. Scozzaro Lecturer
David E. Sipos Instructional Support Assistant
Stephen J. Solook Lecturer
Joseph S. Spann Lecturer
Catherine E. Sutherland Lecturer
Erin E. Vander Wyst Lecturer
Thomas E. Witakowski Associate Professor