Music student with drumsticks

About Music Education

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

Music Education (Pre-K–12), B. Mus.

Music Education, M.M.

Digital Music Production, Minor

Degree Information

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. 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 Educator
  • Music Store Owner/Manager
  • Orchestra Member
  • Radio Programmer/DJ
  • Recording Engineer
  • Recruiter/Talent Scout
  • Advertising Songwriter
  • Studio Manager
  • Tour Coordinator
  • Tour 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 College’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. 

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

Our graduates who have earned their New York State initial teaching certifications enjoy 100 percent job placement. 

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