You do not need a degree in music education - you need *certification*. The normal path is via a degree, but there are other ways. You need to contact the state education department in the state where you live (yes - all states in the US have different requirements - isn't democracy and states' rights wonderful??). I taught most of my career (1971 to 2008) in NY - and those requirements have changed a great deal since I started, too. There are a LOT of expensive tests that you must pass - and these need the support of appropriate courses. According to NCLB, teachers must be "highly qualified" - meaning possessing degree major-level coursework in their area. The fact that you are going to have to get a chunk of this AFTER earning non-specific degrees in another matter. What was your undergrad degree in? Once your have provisional certification, your graduate degree must only be in an allied flied - mine is in Music Theory ( I also have a second BM in Music Theory - not germane to this discussion, really - since I have a B M Ed also).
In most states, the certification in music is "vertical" - you are certified N-12. There are other areas that have grade-delimited licenses - like secondary math, etc. So - you need to get a sit-down, or a good paperwork assessment, of your current degrees, their specific course content, and what you NEED to make up to get certification. Yes, you will have to pass Student Teaching - and not everybody DOES - this is where we sort out the people who have *paper knowledge* but are unable to convey it to students, for a variety of reasons - personality problems, inability to structure material, communication deficits, weak class-management skills, etc. You might want to also post this in Teaching - and let us know your state of residence. Teaching is NOT for everyone - and in music, we sometimes get those who cannot get a decent professional gig, so they turn to education - and do not survive. (I was told today that in a neighboring district, and unhappy colleague has resigned to ENTER THE CONVENT!!! - she taught middle school - what does THAT tell you??) So - I wish you luck - this will not be simple, and there is not a lot of chance of you landing a job for September - unless you want to work as a SUB. Good way to check out the turf, network - the pay stinks, but it's an eye-opener. And you can get more specific, LIVE advice as you go.
Added - about "expensive useless degrees" - this is why Hubby and I decided almost 40 years ago to get certified, and work in Music Ed. We love teaching, and are good at it - but it was the *day gig* that allowed us to be FINE musicians the OTHER 180 days of the year. We worked for DIRT at the beginning, educated and worked ourselves up to better levels, and now took really retirements (ages 54 and 58 when we each left) and are in a position to focus full-time on our artistic pursuits - there is a check in the mail every month. We perform, arrange, attend conferences, travel, teach privately, and basically live the musical and artistic life we wish. If anyone thinks it was EASY to get to this point - then I suggest that they also earn certification, graduate degrees, and then survive several decades of teaching ALL levels of society, in our current starving and drowning schools. we still do a great deal of educational support volunteerism - and it is like throwing the starfish back into the ocean. Education needs good teachers - who will WORK at it. Teaching versus performing is like the old Gummo Marx story - he joined the army to fight in WW 1, because he said that it HAD to be easier than working for his mother in vaudeville!!
Answered By: . . . - 8/16/2009