UMKC Catalog


Bachelor of Music Education

Completion of the bachelor of music education (BME) degree at UMKC fulfills the course requirements to teach music in grades K-12 (elementary general music and secondary vocal or instrumental music) in both Missouri and Kansas.

Following the adopted guidelines of the recognized accrediting agencies in music (NASM) and teacher education (NCATE), the BME program of study prepares future music educators. The faculty of the Music Education/Music Therapy Division believes that the best preparation for teaching is the completion of all courses in the undergraduate music education curriculum. Therefore, all students seeking UMKC endorsement for teacher certification through the Conservatory of Music and Dance must satisfy the course requirements of the bachelor of music education degree. Before being provisionally admitted into the music teacher education course sequence, students must:

  1. Pass the C-BASE examination and
  2. Submit an acceptable application to the School of Education by the end of the sophomore year.

The Conservatory of Music and Dance offers a bachelor of music education degree with an emphasis in choral music, instrumental music or music therapy.

Application and Audition Requirements

Music Education majors are expected to display those personal characteristics and professional qualities possessed by effective teachers. Applicants audition in their applied performance area and are interviewed by the music education faculty to determine their admission to this program.

Applications for admission to the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance are reviewed by both the Applied and the Music Education faculties. Applicants must demonstrate facility in their applied performance area and a strong academic record in addition to well-defined attitudes and goals toward music in elementary and secondary education (see fitness-to-teach).

  1. Students must have an ACT score of 21 or higher, or be at the 50 percentile or higher in the high school class rank, or have a high school grade-point average of 2.5 or better
  2. Applicants should complete an interview with a music education faculty member prior to admission.
  3. Students who do not achieve these standards (listed above) may be considered for admission, but must meet the standards listed below to progress through the degree.

Expectations for Degree Progression and Retention

Complete 201 and be admitted into 202 in the applied area of study.

Complete CONSVTY 223 or complete CONSVTY 310, Keyboard Skills IV, with a grade of B- or better.

Compile a GPA of at least 2.8 overall and/or 3.0 GPA in music.

Must maintain a combined GPA of at least 2.75 in music theory and ear training classes.

Before the student teaching semester the student:
Must complete a 30-minute public recital and 401.
Must complete CONSVTY 310, Keyboard Skills IV, with a grade of B- or better.
Must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.8 with a 3.0 in music and a 3.0 in music methods (128, 385 and 386/387).

The Music Education faculty expects music education students to exhibit those characteristics appropriate for effective teaching throughout the program and to make satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Other specific retention criteria are as follows:

  1. Be in good standing, free from academic, disciplinary, or music probation;
  2. Maintain the following grade point averages:
    1. Minimum cumulative GPA for all coursework is 2.80.
    2. Minimum cumulative GPA for all music coursework is 3.00.
    3. All required music courses must be completed with C or better.

Evaluation of student progress occurs each semester through an audit and advising system in the Music Education Division. In addition, the progress of all students is reviewed at the completion of the sophomore year by the entire Music Education faculty in order to determine admission to the teacher education track.

Fitness to Teach

Upon being admitted to the teacher education track, the Conservatory and the School of Education have a process in place to assure that all teacher candidates will be assessed throughout their program according to “Fitness to Teach” criteria (the Fitness to Teach Checklist/Referral Form is available from the Muisc Education Faculty). Additional criteria include:

  1. Competed criminal background history review.
  2. Meeting academic requirements, including scholastic integrity and good communication skills.
  3. Exhibiting personal and professional behaviors, such as appropriate social and interpersonal skills and appropriate dress for professional contexts.
  4. Demonstrating appropriate cultural and social attitudes and behavior, including respect for diversity and acceptance of and accommodations for exceptional learners
  5. Demonstrating appropriate emotional and cognitive dispositions, such as sound judgment and reflective and analytical thinking.

All teacher candidates will be reviewed semi-annually in the form of aggregated Fitness to Teach Checklist/Referral Form data. Patterns of concern identified in the review may result in a formal review process. Additionally, faculty may choose to refer a teacher education candidate for review at any time by completing the Fitness to Teach Checklist/Referral Form. The review process may result in remediation or removal from the Teacher Education program.

Candidates referred for review are expected to participate in the process. Refusal to participate will not terminate the process and may result in removal form the program.

Any teacher candidate referred for review is afforded due process throughout the review proceedings. After all stages of review, a letter of appeal may be submitted to the dean for consideration. The dean’s decision is final

Field Experience and Student Teaching

Undergraduates begin their final field placement during the fall semester of their final year. Students are assigned to an elementary and secondary school with a cooperating teacher who supervises and mentors them.  Students continue in these placements for student teaching during their final semester of the degree.  Students are assigned to a school with a master teacher who supervises and mentors them throughout a complete quarter of teaching.

Student teaching, under the guidance of a cooperating teacher and a university supervisor, is the culmination of this program. To be eligible for a student teaching assignment, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Satisfy the retention criteria described above.
  2. Have removed all unsatisfactory grades from their records (I, F,  etc.).
  3. Have successfully passed the Piano Proficiency Examination.
  4. Have completed all required course work except student teaching.
  5. Have passing scores for Praxis examinations (as specified by Missouri and Kansas).

A student will not be recommended for graduation who has, in the opinion of the Music Education faculty, failed to demonstrate acceptable characteristics and competencies. Upon successful completion of the Music Education program, students are eligible for preK-12 music certification in Missouri and Kansas.

Double Majors

A student who is approved by the faculty for the major in Performance will complete the requirements in both Music Education and Performance. This program is a composite of both programs of study, and may require an additional year of study.