Music Education

The Discipline of Music Education

Music Education is geared both toward primary and secondary education. The discipline covers not only music composition and performance, but also music history, music appreciation, and music theory. Music Education programs often allow students to choose between focusing on orchestral and vocal music. This discipline prepares individuals to educate primary and secondary students to understand music as both a scholarly subject and a performance medium, encouraging them to connect their knowledge of music history and acoustic trends to their own composition and performance.

Music Education falls under the larger discipline of Music, where it sits alongside other subdiscipline including, namely, Musicology. There appears to be significant crossover between Musicology and Music Education in terms of scholarly inquiry into music and exploration of its aesthetic qualities. Both Musicology and Music Education refer to “Music Theory,” but Music Education is more concerned with technics of music composition (notation), whereas Musicology is more concerned with the theory of music, or music as an academic subject. Musicology is likely far more appropriate for teaching music composition in the rhetoric classroom and rhetorical analysis of music concerned with patterns, etc. Music Education, on the other hand, is more geared toward the composition and performance of music, with listening experience and rhetorical analysis being a minor factor in that discussion.

Organization Details, Further Conference & Publication Info

* Each of the quoted descriptions below comes from the webpage to which the respective organization title is linked. More information about each organization is available at those sites.

APME was created to advocate for popular music education and its advancement as a discipline. It provides educational opportunities for teachers and students, honors the rich history of popular music, and develops innovative ways to create, perform, and teach it. APME also serves to bring together all involved in the pursuit of teaching and making popular music at all levels including higher education, public school modern band and contemporary music programs, music companies, manufacturers, and popular music organizations. ”


The International Society for Music Education (ISME) believes that lived experiences of music, in all their many aspects, are a vital part of the life of all people. ISME’s mission is to enhance those experiences by:
building and maintaining a worldwide community of music educators characterized by mutual respect and support;
fostering global intercultural understanding and cooperation among the world’s music educators; and
promoting music education for people of all ages in all relevant situations throughout the world.”

The International Society for Music Education not only holds its own international conference, it also has an affiliate chapter in each state, each of which is associated with its own conference. Each state and national organization can be reached through the link above.


The International Society for Philosophy of Music Education “sponsors and conducts international symposia held biennially or triennially. It provides an international forum for philosophers of music education and others interested in their work to discuss philosophical issues having to do with music education around the world and advocate for philosophical research in music education. Music education is construed broadly to include the gamut of institutions in which it is conducted, levels of instruction from elementary to advanced, throughout life from young childhood to old age. And it offers musician-educators perspectives on the normative aspects of their lives and work. As well as nurturing philosophical scholarship in music education, it provides a vehicle for music education philosophers to converse with international policy makers.”

PopFlock (Message Board)

National Association for Music Education (NAfME), among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century.”

NAfME Community Forums

“Founded in 1924, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with approximately 650 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for music and music-related disciplines, and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational, and other music-related endeavors.”
“The mission of the New York State School Music Association is to advance music education across New York State for its membership and students in member school programs.”

Very Important People

Dr. Ted Piechocinski

Director of Music Business program at ISU

Named #1 of music professor in “Top 10 Music Professors Who Inspire Us,” by Meghan Gresk.

Denese Odeegard

Current President, NAfME

Fargo, ND Public Schools Performing Arts Curriculum Specialist

Works Cited

Gresk, Meghan. “Top 10 Music Professors Who Inspire Us.” College Magazine, 11 Jan., 2017.

[Image of Denese Odeegard]. “New NAfME President Understands Music Educators’ Challenges.” NAfME, 28 July, 2016.

[Image of Dr. Ted Piechockinski]. “Top 10 Music Professors Who Inspire Us.” College Magazine, 11 Jan., 2017.

“New NAfME President Understands Music Educators’ Challenges.” NAfME, 28 July, 2016.