Distance Learning Courses and Certificates in Music
Students who are interested in intensive or continuing education in music may enroll in distance learning courses through a university or community college. Get information about course topics, career options and requirements to make an informed decision about your education.
Distance Learning Coursework in Music
Students may undertake distance learning coursework in music in order to update their professional credentials, pursue a music industry career or enhance their abilities as musical performers. Courses commonly available online cover music areas such as music theory, the history of music, global and non-western music, musical score analysis and conducting techniques. Most institutions award credits for individual music courses and may count them toward departmental degree requirements for students enrolled in certificate or degree programs at either the undergraduate or graduate level.
Prerequisites and Requirements
Students may need access to audio recording equipment in order to document performances for assignments. Some schools allow non-degree-seeking students to enroll in a course only if there are open slots after degree-seeking students have completed their enrollment period.
Many distance courses cover theoretical or cultural topics related to music. Possible topics include:
- Global music perspectives
- Music theory
- Musical experiences
- Musical score and form analysis
Distance Learning Certificate in Music Technology
Certificate programs in music technology prepare students to use the techniques and equipment employed in the commercial production of music, as well as the channels through which music products are commonly marketed and promoted. Programs may focus on industry merchandising, digital distribution, Pro Tools recording software, music publishing or concert promotion. Some certificate tracks may concentrate on audio technician training or media management and administration.
Coursework may survey popular music trends, recording artists, industry practices and relevant recording technology. Common topics include:
- Audio mixing
- Music marketing
- Music laws and contracts
- Music publishing
- Popular music survey
- Studio operations
Popular Career Options
Students with a certificate in music technology may pursue positions at music studios, record labels, marketing firms or other businesses. Possible titles include:
- Audio technician
- Concert promoter
- Film and video producer
- Music producer
- Studio engineer
Distance Learning Certificate in Music Education
Certificates in music education are pursued by elementary and secondary music teachers, private music educators and conductors. These programs may prepare students to use computer technology in music education, research in music education, multimedia teaching strategies, voice instruction and choral instruction. Additional instruction may cover cultivation of music literacy and construction of educational lesson plans.
Prerequisites and Requirements
Some programs require applicants to have a minimum level of music teaching experience. Transcript and GPA requirements may also apply.
Courses for music education certificates focus on improving music educators' pedagogical abilities and helping them to more effectively engage their students. Topics may include:
- Choral pedagogy
- Computer technology for music education
- Elementary-level music education
- Multimedia approaches to music education
- Research in music education
- Vocal pedagogy
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies conductors as a subset of musicians, singers and related workers (www.bls.gov). From 2010-2020, this general field was expected to see 10% growth in total employment.
In May 2011, the median annual wage for all music directors and composers was $47,410. At that time, most were employed by schools, religious organizations and performing arts companies.
Continuing Education Info
Related graduate degree programs may offer the Master of Music (M.M.) in Music Education or Music Therapy. Like the certificate programs, many of these degree programs can be completed entirely online.
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