Master of Arts in Music Education

The Music Department at the University of Hawaii-Manoa offers the Master of Arts-Music Education degree, which is intended for those individuals who have attained a B.Ed or comparable degree and are currently teaching in the public or private school. The University of Hawai`i is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). UH Manoa, with 20,000 students, is the main campus of the state-supported university system and is located in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Online Master of Arts in Education is also offered for those whose circumstances preclude the more traditional campus residency route.


Qualifications needed:

See the following pages for application information:

Send to:

University of Hawai'i
Graduate Admissions Office
Spalding 354
2540 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 956-8544

Send the following to the Music Department:

  1. Graduate Program Statement of Objectives Form
  2. One (1) official transcript for each post-secondary institution attended. [Note: Photocopies are not acceptable. Transcripts must be mailed directly from the institution to the University of Hawaii.]
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation of which one (1) must be from a current or former supervisor, principal or administrator.
  4. Each applicant needs to submit a videotape/DVD demonstrating current teaching expertise. Suggested minimum length of the videotape/DVD is 20 - 30 minutes. Applicants may include segments from more than one class session or rehearsal. A lesson or rehearsal plan must be included with your demonstration video. This videotape/DVD serves as the general examination (part 3) for music education applicants. Videotapes will not be returned unless a SASE is provided by the student with the application materials sent to the music department. Decisions concerning both requirements and evaluations are made by the music education faculty.  For more information, contact Dr. Barbara McLain.

Send to:

Music Department Graduate Admissions
2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, Hi 96822
top of page

Application Deadline

Please allow approximately two (2) months for your application to be reviewed once all materials have been submitted. Fall admissions are usually notified by the end of April. Spring admissions are usually notified by the end of November.

Students whose applications are pending may register for classes as a "Post Baccalaureate Unclassified Student." A maximum of nine (9) credits, taken as an unclassified graduate student may be applied toward the master's degree program.

top of page


top of page

Course Requirements

Required Courses 6
* 661 Bibliography (3 credits)
* 651 Foundations of Music Education (3 credits)
General Musicianship 6-7
It is strongly recommended that the student take one advanced course from at least two of the three areas listed below:
A) Musicology or Ethnomusicology
* 400 Topics in Music (1-3 cr)
* 407 Music Cultures of the World (3 cr)
46_ Advanced Music Literature (2-3 cr)
472 Sound Systems of World Music (3 cr)
* 477 History of Rock and Roll (3 cr)
478_ Musical Cultures (3 cr)
478I Music of Polynesia (3 cr)
66_ Studies in Music Literature (3 cr)
670_ Regional Music (3 cr)
B) Performance
410-419 Ensembles in Western and/or non-Western traditions (1-2 cr)
C) Music Theory/Composition
484 Composition for music majors (1 cr)
680_ Studies in Music Theory (3 cr)
Music Education 9
Chosen from:
* 400 Topics in Music (3 cr)
* 454 Music in Special Education (3 cr)
457 Asian and Pacific Music in Education (2 cr)
* 600F Seminar in Music Education & Internet (3 cr)
* 601 Topics: History & Philosophy Music Edu (3 cr)
* 601 Topics: Advanced Teaching Practicum (3 cr)
655 Music in Childhood Education (3 cr)
* 701B Psychology of Music (3 cr)
* 701C Research in Music Education (3 cr)
750B Music Education Seminar - Childhood (3 cr)
750C Music Education Seminar - Adolescence (3 cr)
* 750D Music Education Seminar - Major Issues (3 cr)
Plan B Project for Music Education 3
Music 695: Master's Plan B Project (3 cr). A research paper or project and a final written examination focusing on music education.
Music Electives 5-6
Electives numbered 400 or above as approved by the advisor (5-6 cr).
* courses available in the on-line program
All students must complete 18 credits of coursework at the 600 level or above, including one course designated as a seminar (excluding 699 and 700).
Minimum Number of Credits 30
top of page

Plan B Non-Exclusive Distribution License

All master's students in music education must submit their Plan B projects in a hard copy and as a digital file to their Music Department adviser. Students must include a completed Plan B Non-Exclusive Distribution License with submission of the final form of the project. Upon receipt of that form and of the completed study, we will arrange to post the Plan B project at Scholar Space, Collections in the Music Department (

Any student who graduated prior to Spring 2011 but is willing to fill out and submit the Plan B Non-Exclusive Distribution License may also give permission for his/her project to be posted at the Scholar Space site. These students must send the completed form to the Graduate Secretary, Ms. Kathy Kamiya ( Once the digitization process has taken place, the Graduate Chair ( will send a pdf file of the project to its author provided the Music Department has a current email address.

Download the Plan B Non-Exclusive Distribution License.

top of page

MA Diagnostic Examinations

Music Schools and Departments accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) must administer a "graduate student diagnostic examination" in music theory and music history. These exams are administered AFTER you have been accepted into the Master of Arts degree program.

These exams will include questions and skills at approximately a college sophomore level in theory and history. Should you fail any portion of the exams, you will need to enroll in remedial coursework and/or take the exam again (see Graduate Entrance Examination).

Helpful study websites

top of page