This is a major in music that offers job security.
Far and away, the most employable major for a musician is music education.
To be clear, music education is the practice of teaching music primarily in public K-12 settings, as well as in regional youth ensembles, choirs, and other related activities.
It is not at all uncommon for the top schools to have a 90% – 100% placement rate for graduates of their program within 1 year of graduation! That is exceptionally impressive and an even better placement rate.
Because of the excellent job prospects, Music Education is without question the most popular music major in the country.
As such, a number of schools have surfaced over the years that have consistently shown the best promise and results.
This list is not a ranking – there are many other top music education colleges in the US outside of these ones.
Here is Music School Central’s opinion for 10 of the best music education colleges in the country.
Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford) (Hartford, CT)
The Hartt School of Music is Connecticut’s premiere institution for music education, and one of the top music education programs in the country.
One of the faculty members in the program, John Feierabend, is among the most distinguished researchers in music education in the world.
Having originated the First Steps in Music curricula for preschool-aged children, his research is now published in volumes throughout the world.
The outcome for students at Hartt is considered excellent, with a majority of students obtaining jobs within K-12 education post-graduation.
Outside of music education, Hartt itself is a strong music school drawing upon faculty who also teach in some of New York City’s top music schools.
California State University-Northridge (Los Angeles, CA)
CSU-Northridge is arguably the most important music education college in the entire state of California; an unusually large number of high school music teachers graduated from CSU Northridge.
CSU Northridge maintains an active relationship with a number of California-area private schools.
As such, students in the program gain valuable music education experience observing and teaching in the California public school system prior to licensure.
After the Bachelor’s degree at CSU Northridge, there is a 1-year credential program that includes two semesters of hands-on teaching. This credential is required for teaching in the California public school system.
Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ)
Specializing in Choral Music Education, Westminster Choir College is among the most unique programs in the nation for music education.
What I like most about this program specifically is the closely related Westminster Academy.
The Academy is essentially a training lab for music education; classes in the academy are held at a local middle school, where students of the program can gain hands-on experience working with children.
Both graduate students as well as undergraduate students gain relevant hands-on experience in this program.
During the sophomore year, students begin observing live music education classes.
By senior year, students enjoy a full semester of teaching.
Because of the excellent experience and opportunity Westminster Choir College provide, alumni of the program frequently land jobs in desirable careers.