Instrumental Music Education PreK-12 (BA) Program Overview

When you have music in your heart, spend your life sharing that joy. The music education degree with a concentration in instrumentalism offers a hands-on study of instruments ranging from low brass to strings. You’ll be prepared to lead instrumental music programs at elementary or secondary schools. Your education classes focus on the science and art of teaching. As an aspiring music education teacher, you’ll observe teachers in their classrooms throughout your education coursework prior to your semester of student teaching.

Band Directors Begin at BU

“The Music Department not only improved my performance skills but added a depth of knowledge and understanding to how music is created. I performed in a wide variety of genres and the works of the great composers. With the skills I obtained at BU, the doors for my musical career are wide open,” says Nicholas Hinkle, class of 2016, and Bluefield High School band director.

Torn between being a band director or performer? You can do both. As a music education major, you’ll have the opportunity to join the Marching Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Band. Feel free to complete the information request form to discuss what it means to teach music in Virginia classrooms today.


The Academic Catalog is the student guide to all policies and procedures for Bluefield University.

The Teacher Education Handbook is the guide to all of the policies and procedures for students entering the Teacher Education Program (TEP).

The Student Teaching Handbook is the primary resource for all students in the culminating experience for the Teacher Education Program (TEP).

On-Campus: January 10, 2022

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Courses & Requirements:

General Education & Degree Requirements

Bachelor's Degree (BA)
General Education (55 Credits)

General Education requirements may be fulfilled in more specific courses for certain majors


  • Invitation to Inquiry
  • Character Formation
  • Civic & Global Response
  • Personal Wellness & Activity
  • Intro to the Writing Process (3 Credits)
  • Argumentative & Analytical Writing (3 Credits)
  • Biblical Perspectives (3 Credits)
  • Survey of American History I or II (3 Credits)
  • World Civilizations I or II (3 Credits)
  • 2000 Level Literature Course (3 Credits)
  • 2 Beginning Level Modern Language Courses (6 Credits)
  • 2 Intermediate Level Modern Language Courses (6 Credits)
  • Macroeconomics (3 Credits)
  • College Algebra (or higher) (3 Credits)
  • Introduction to Psychology (3 Credits)
  • Fundamentals of Speech (3 Credits)
  • (Choose 1)
    • Human Biology & Lab (4 Credits)
    • General Biology & Lab (4 Credits)
    • Intro to the Physical Sciences & Lab (4 Credits)
    • General Chemistry & Lab (4 Credits)
Core Requirements (62 Credits)

  • Brass Methods & Pedagogy
  • Percussion Methods & Pedagogy
  • String Methods & Pedagogy
  • Woodwind Methods & Pedagogy
  • Theory I, II, III, & IV (Alternating with Ear Training)
  • Ear Training I, II, III, & IV (Alternating with Theory)
  • Music History I
  • Music History II
  • Conducting I
  • Conducting II
  • Intro to Orchestration
  • Music Methods & Curriculum PreK-5
  • Music Methods & Curriculum 6-12
  • Survey of Modern Band Methodologies & Marching Band
  • Piano Proficiency I
  • Sophomore Review Seminar
  • Vocal Proficiency
  • Senior Recital
  • Applied Study
    • Primary & Secondary Study (Choose 2)
      • Private Brass
      • Private Piano
      • Private Strings
      • Private Guitar
      • Private Woodwind
      • Private Percussion
      • Private Voice
  • Music Ensembles (Choose From)
    • MasterWorks
    • Bluefield Singers
    • Variations
    • Praise Singers
    • Small Instrumental Ensemble
    • Orchestra
    • Concert Band
    • Jazz Band
  • Performing Arts Lab (6 Semesters)
Professional Education (17 Credits)

  • Human Growth & Development for Educators
  • Foundations of Education
  • Intro to Instructional Media & Technology
  • Curriculum, Assessment & Instruction in Secondary Schools
  • Intro to the Exceptional Child
  • Teaching Reading in the Content Area
Field Experiences (15 Credits)

  • Dynamic Learning Environments
    • (Must be taken prior to Student Teaching)
  • Student Teaching
    • (Taken in the final semester)
Required Testing (2 Tests)

  • Virginia Communication & Literacy Assessment
  • PRAXIS II Music: Content Knowledge
Total Credits: 159

Career opportunities available to graduates of this program include:

PreK-12 Music Teacher
Band Director
Musicologist
Private Instrument Teacher
Ethnomusicologist

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231