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Music Education Major

Conservatory of Performing Arts

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At Baldwin Wallace, your path to becoming a professional and resourceful educator can begin as early as freshman year with relevant coursework and in-school classroom observations.

BW's music education program helps you acquire the knowledge, skills, technical competencies and professional perspectives to prepare for an ever-changing education environment.

Real-world experience is key. At BW, you'll be in the classroom doing observations and assisting the teacher in your first year.

BW graduates meet a rigorous set of standards on their way to licensure eligibility. As a result, they meet and often exceed requirements set by the State of Ohio. To date, 100% of BW music education graduates have passed the Ohio Teacher License test.

Small classes, personalized attention and faculty mentoring are at the forefront of the program. BW's faculty-student ratio is 7:1 for the Conservatory of Performing Arts.

BW faculty are established professionals with real-world experience, impressive credentials and networking connections. They're published composers, authors, educators, musicians and researchers.

Also beneficial is BW's close proximity to Cleveland and its nationally ranked music and arts organizations.

Throughout the music education program, students work as paid instructors and interns for the Community Arts School. Opportunities include the BW Men's Chorus, BW Women's Chorus, MusicPlay, Dalcroze classes, New Horizons Band, New Horizons Orchestra and ukulele ensemble. In this role, music education students are mentored by world-class conductors and national leaders in music education.

  • Photo of Lalene Kay instructing

    BW's undergraduate-only Conservatory provides students with valuable opportunities to perform, compose, conduct, teach and manage. Alumni can be found at top graduate schools and employed with renowned organizations.

  • photo of Steinway piano

    BW is among an elite list of conservatories worldwide boasting an All-Steinway School classification. This distinction elevates a student's learning experience by having lessons and performance opportunities be on the same quality instruments that are the standard in concert halls.

  • Photo of Boesel Musical Arts Center

    Striking Boesel Musical Arts Center is a four-building complex that houses 50 soundproofed practice rooms, instructional space, practice studios and impressive rehearsal halls that can accommodate the latest technologies for teaching and performance.


BW's comprehensive curriculum of choral, instrumental (band and orchestra) and general music instruction prepares you for licensure in music for pre-k through grade 12. Non-classroom opportunities include:

  • Private instrumental and vocal instruction
  • Administrative roles within arts and education organizations
  • Theatre/music theatre director
  • Church music director
  • Nonprofit work


Baldwin Wallace University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association. Individual education programs also are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Commission of Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. The University's licensure programs are approved by the State of Ohio Department of Education.


The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Performing Arts is one of just 16 conservatories worldwide that has achieved classification as an All-Steinway School. The 88 Steinway pianos in the Conservatory elevate the student learning experience by having lessons and performance opportunities on the same quality instruments that are the standard in concert halls worldwide.


Striking Boesel Musical Arts Center is a picturesque four-building complex that houses the Conservatory. It's a seamless blend of historic architecture and modern design. The facility houses 50 soundproofed practice rooms, instructional space, practice studios and impressive rehearsal halls that can accommodate the latest technologies for teaching and performance.


Innovation, excellence and outstanding hands-on learning and performance opportunities make the Conservatory a proven choice for students nationwide. The undergraduate-only Conservatory provides an exceptional learning environment for students to take lead roles in performing, conducting, managing and teaching. Alumni can be found at top graduate schools and working with the best orchestras, operas and theatres. Other alumni are employed in rewarding positions in teaching, arts management and music therapy.


Upon completion of your studies, you'll graduate with a Bachelor of Music Education degree.

Through coursework, you will study music theory, history and literature, tonal harmony, Solfège and more. You will also take education classes that focus on classroom instruction, teaching philosophy, classroom management/environment and other pertinent topics. The reduced number of required credit hours in the music education degree gives you freedom to take elective courses that fulfill your music interests both inside and outside of music education.

Outside the classroom, you will take private lessons and participate in a major ensemble and other performance activities. Students are also involved in all aspects of the Community Arts School, BW summer music camps, local PK-12 music programs and the Ohio Music Education Association throughout their four years in the program.

The culmination of your studies is student teaching in your senior year. Working collaboratively with an experienced music educator in a local school district, you'll spend an entire semester practicing instruction in the field.

The music education major prepares students to:

  • Understand central musical concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of music through authentic learning experiences
  • Create, perform, and respond to music
  • Develop creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills
  • Actively inquire, collaborate and interact within the music classroom
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Student success is a top priority. Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of Conservatory of Performing Arts programs. Developing high-level performance skills is valued by the music education faculty. As a result, music education majors receive the same length of private lessons and performance opportunities as performance majors.

With more than 325 events a year, the BW Conservatory offers an impressive array of performance opportunities.


The BW Conservatory has outstanding campus performance traditions and collaborations with regional and national organizations. A few examples include:

  • Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival
    The three-day campus event is the oldest collegiate Bach Festival in the country. It features lectures, BW performance groups, faculty members and renowned professional soloists and musicians. Baldwin Wallace students consider the unusual opportunity of participating, as colleagues, with world-class professionals a high point in their performing experience. The festival is evolving to include year-round events, such as Bach Haus, that explore Bach's influence on a broad spectrum of music.
  • FOCUS Festival of Contemporary Music
    The biennial festival features the music of a contemporary composer who visits Baldwin Wallace for a week-long residency. At the conclusion of the week's rehearsals and symposia, the composer's music is performed in a series of concerts, including large ensembles and chamber groups.


Personally and professionally rewarding, student organizations and activities foster career skills, leadership and teamwork. Opportunities for music education majors include:

  • American String Teachers Association (ASTA)
    This organization is open to any student interested in playing or teaching string instruments. Members participate in workshops and performances.
  • Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association (OCMEA)
    This association prepares pre-service teachers to be holistic educators by arranging professional development, leadership and networking opportunities designed to help members be successful.
  • ACDA (American Choral Directors Association)
    Students interested in choral conducting and composing will find plentiful networking, leadership and learning opportunities through our student chapter of ACDA. In addition to attending local and national conferences, the BW chapter sponsors annual events like the A Cappella Festival and "Unbox the Vox," which provide valuable perspectives in vocal pedagogy.


At Baldwin Wallace, student learning experiences are enhanced by exceptional resources that include:

  • Riemenschneider Bach Institute
    The institute houses rare items related to J.S. Bach and his circle, as well as historical reference materials, scores and a collection of classic recordings. It has one of the nation's most impressive holdings of Baroque manuscripts and first editions. It attracts scholars from around the world.
  • Ferne Patterson Jones Memorial Music Library
    A valuable campus resource, the library offers 18,000 scores, 7,000 books, and more than 10,000 sound and video recordings. Online resources to which the library subscribes include over one million tracks of streaming audio and video. Help with research is available by appointment, on a walk-in basis or through email.


A bachelor's degree in music education can be a stepping-stone to post graduate education or can lead directly to a career.

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates are pursuing advanced studies at:

  • Arizona State University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Eastman School of Music
  • Florida State University
  • Hartt School of Music
  • Indiana University
  • Michigan State University
  • New York University (NYU)
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Texas
  • University of South Carolina

Career Success

Bruno Bush headshotBruno Bush '19 is middle and high school choir director of Port Clinton Schools in Port Clinton, Ohio. He directs five choirs, a competitive a cappella group, and the school's annual musical. He is also the Festival Choir Chair for the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) District 2.

Vicki Hyder headshotVicki Hyder '14 teaches elementary music in Sioux Falls, S.D. She has experience teaching general music, band, choir and drama. She also proudly holds the position of elementary chair of the South Dakota Music Association and serves as president of the Sioux Valley Orff Chapter.

Chad Pittman headshotChad Pittman '14 leads the choral program at Firestone High School and Akron School for the Arts, in Akron, Ohio. His choirs have performed at conferences for the Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He is director of music at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Braden PontoliBraden Pontoli '13 is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Music Performance and Composition at California Institute of the Arts. He also conducts the CalArts Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and teaches elementary music. He recently conducted the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District (PMEA) 5 High School Chorus Festival.

Lauren Wright headshotLauren Wright '12 teaches middle school orchestra in Kentucky, and she has the pleasure of conducting honors orchestras in both Lexington and Louisville. She is pursuing a Master of Music Education at the University of Kentucky. She is the State Orchestra chair-elect for the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA).

Kelly Langenberg headshotKelly Bayer Langenberg '02 is applied artist at Northern Illinois University where she teaches applied brass courses and coaches chamber music. She is a proud Hans Hoyer USA Concert Artist, tours with the Alliance Brass Quintet and performs as a freelance musician with ensembles in the Chicago area.


Lorelei Batisla-ong

Associate Professor of Music Education
Ph.D., Music and Human Learning, The University of Texas at Austin

Lorelei Batisla-ong

Jami Lercher

Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education
D.M.A., University of Miami - The Frost School of Music

Jami Lercher

Andrew Machamer

Assistant Professor of Music Education
D.M.A., University of Minnesota

Andrew Machamer

David Pope

Chair, Professional Studies Department
Ph.D., Florida State University

David Pope

Full-Time Faculty

David Pope
Chair, Professional Studies Department
Associate Professor of Music Education
Ph.D., Florida State University

Lorelei Batisla-ong
Associate Professor of Music Education
Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Jami Lercher
Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education
D.M.A., University of Miami - The Frost School of Music

Andrew Machamer
Assistant Professor of Music Education
D.M.A., University of Minnesota