Music Theory Pedagogy Research and Practice

Music Theory Pedagogy Research and Practice Faculty

Dr. Hiu-Wah Au
Associate Professor of Music Theory
Room 222, Broyhill Music Center
(828) 262-7786
Dr. Nicholas Cline
Dr. Nicholas Cline
Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory
Room 421 Broyhill Music
(828) 262-6443
Dr. Andrew Hannon
Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory
Theory Area Coordinator
Rm 318, Broyhill Music Center
(828) 262-6664

Mission Statement

The Graduate Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy Research and Practice seeks to equip teachers on both the secondary and collegiate level to teach within the undergraduate music core or within the AP classroom, basing their instructional practices on research findings. With courses required in research, pedagogy, a proficiency in functional piano in teaching, coupled with teaching practicums and mentor opportunities with master teachers from the theory faculty, students enrolled in this program will be introduced to many of the pedagogical techniques that are emerging through research and classroom experiences.  


On-campus and fully online options are available!

The Graduate Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy Research and Practice allows students to gain a focused knowledge of teaching music theory and aural skills, both through practical in classroom teaching and through research and discovery in analytical and pedagogical courses.  Students enrolled in the program will be expected to research emerging trends in general pedagogy as well as implement new approaches into their own teaching demonstrations.  High school teachers currently teaching AP music theory courses and students interested in teaching music theory and aural skills on the collegiate level are the intended audience for this program.  The certificate also will provide students enrolled in the Masters of Music in Performance with credentials that would allow for great flexibility in employment or assistance in gaining graduate assistantships in further graduate study.


Objectives of Program:

The objectives for students enrolled in this program are:

●      To prepare students to teach music theory and aural skills in the core music curriculum at the secondary and collegiate level.

●      To develop a project that will serve as a basis for future research. The research paper required at the conclusion of the Advanced Readings course could serve as a basis for continued research or a draft for a journal article in a teaching or specific instrumental journal.

●      To develop the skills in order to integrate music literacy into applied lessons and ensembles.

●      To develop teaching proficiency through practical experiences in a practicum setting.

●      To develop an understanding or appropriate scholarship in the field of music theory pedagogy and to develop the skills necessary to interpret current and emerging research trends.

●      To prepare students for teaching effectiveness in the face-to-face classroom as well as online teaching environments.

Admissions Information

Students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy Research and Practice will be required to submit the following for admission into the program:

●      Completed online application to the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies

●      Application fee

●      Statement of Teaching Philosophy

●      Three references

●      Resume/Vita

●      Remote or live interview with members of theory faculty, will include sight singing proficiency

●      Video performance demonstrating proficiency on keyboard in playing prepared excerpts

Students must demonstrate proficiency in both keyboard and sight singing. If a student does not pass the proficiency at the audition stage but is still admitted to the program, he or she must sign up for a remediation course in keyboard and/or sight singing. Students will be required to successfully pass the sight singing and keyboard proficiency before enrolling in the final practicum. Remedial classes will not count toward the 13 hours required to earn the certificate.  

In order to provide a quality learning and teaching experience for all students, the cohort of students entering the certificate program will be limited to six students per academic year. Priority consideration will be given to students whose applications are complete by March 1.

Degree Course Requirements

Total Required (Minimum 13 hours)

MUS 5602-Music Theory Pedagogy (3)

MUS 5063-Advanced Readings in Music Theory Pedagogy (2)

MUS 5064-Advanced Topics in Analysis (3)

MUS 5065-Teaching Practicum in Music Theory (1)

MUS 5066-Pedagogy Portfolio (1)


Electives (3 Hours) to be chosen from:

HE 5210: Teaching for Equity and Inclusion (3)

HE 5220: Exploring Digital Learning Environments in Postsecondary Education (3)

HE 5440: College & University Teaching (3)

MUS 5530:  Special Topics (3)

EDTC 7040: Instructional Strategies for Distance Learning (3) (online at ECU)

EDTC 7030: Web Teaching: Design and Development (3) (online at ECU)

EDTC 6300: Introduction to Distance Learning (3) (online at ECU)

Others in consultation with advisor

Assistantships and Scholarships

Visit the link below to find information regarding assistantships and scholarships.

Assistantships are awarded only to students will full-time status.