MA in Music Education: Instrumental and Vocal Teaching

MA in Music Education

Course summary

This taught MA programme helps students to develop pedagogical skills by drawing on and deepening their existing practical experience as instrumental/vocal teachers. Students have the opportunity to advance their theoretical and practical understanding of instrumental/vocal teaching, strategies for reflective practice, and research expertise. These are all skills that will enhance students' capability and employability.

The course is led by Dr Elizabeth Haddon LRSM. Her research on instrumental pedagogy has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals and in her two co-edited volumes on creativity. In addition to her academic work within higher music education she also has considerable experience of private studio instrumental teaching.

Delivering the course alongside her are Dr Naomi Norton and Humanities Research Centre Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Richard Powell. Naomi's portfolio includes music education research, with specialist expertise relating to musicians' health and well-being, and educational work as Teaching Artist with In Harmony Opera North. Dr Richard Powell is a violinist, teacher, and researcher specialising in music analysis. 

Staff contact

If you have any further questions about the course, or would like to discuss your application, please contact the programme leader:


Click here to download a PDF brochure for the course:

MA Music Education 2018 (PDF  , 4,827kb)

As a freelance instrumental teacher, I took the course in Music Education to expand my teaching skills and qualifications. It provided a wealth of information to develop my professional practice, and the assessments offered me opportunities to study topics which interested me in depth. Overall it was very interesting and helpful.
MA Music Education (2016) graduate. (more quotes)

Course structure

MA in Music Education

Students participate in seminars and practical sessions in which they have opportunities to teach others and to receive feedback on their teaching.

Regular meetings with course tutors enable students to discuss their progress and prepare work for assessment, which includes both written and practical work. The final submission consists of either an extended essay or a portfolio of lessons plus commentaries.

Students have opportunities to engage in the many ensemble and performance activities on offer in this vibrant music department, and are encouraged to take advantage of study resources including the university library and dedicated postgraduate working spaces.

Weekly seminars explore areas of instrumental and vocal pedagogy including: 

• the pupil-teacher-parent relationship 
• our motivations as teachers 
• professional concerns and obligations 
• qualities of effective teachers 
• teaching materials 
• working with students of different ages and abilities, including special needs 
• learning and teaching approaches 
• learner motivation 
• teaching particular skills including practice, aural, sight-reading, improvisation, technique and repertoire 
• understanding the development of expertise 
• working with groups 
• preparing students for performance 
• using technology in teaching 
• promoting musician’s health and well-being 
• working creatively and compassionately with others.


Autumn Term 

Module 1: Effective pedagogy 
Module 2: One-to-one teaching (Beginner)

Spring Term

Module 3: Teaching techniques 
Module 4: One-to-one teaching (Intermediate) 

Summer Term 

Module 5: Enhanced teaching skills 
Module 6: One-to-one teaching (Advanced) 

Summer Period (June – September) 

Module 7: Independent study module comprising either an extended essay, or a portfolio of recorded lessons accompanied by a written commentary

Employment outcomes

The academic qualification and experience gained through this programme enhances students’ employability in a competitive international field. The programme helps students to develop skills vital for engaging in a wide range of educational activities, including studio and institutional teaching. It also equips students for further academic study; graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral research as well as a variety of other related qualifications.

Start your application

You can opt to pursue a Master of Arts degree or Postgraduate Diploma (either full or part time) in Music Education.

For more information and help with an application contact the Postgraduate Administrator Gilly Howe (

Entry requirements: 

  • BA in Music with 2:1 or above or equivalent professional experience. No portfolio is required.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in any component) at the beginning of the course.

MA in Music Education (180 credits)

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Postgraduate Diploma in Music Education (120 credits)

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