The music education major at Pacific University focuses on providing students with a deep understanding of music, as well as pedagogy. Students develop an understanding of instrumental and vocal pedagogy and demonstrate competency in choral and instrumental conducting. They also develop their knowledge of music education materials, technology, philosophy, curriculum planning and classroom management.

Students also can gain experience by participating in the Pacific University String Project, a partnership in which college students gain teaching experience while providing affordable string instruction to local children.

Program Highlights

  • Gain a solid academic foundation built upon studies in music theory and analysis, music history from ancient to post-modern eras, and performance opportunities in both classical and jazz idioms.
  • Receive individualized performance instruction with campus faculty and adjunct instructors.
  • Enjoy a 400-seat recital hall, a piano lab with Kawai electronic units, a Mac-based MIDI lab, practice rooms with pianos, a percussion studio and rehearsal space that replicates the recital hall.
  • Perform in a wide range of ensembles, including Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Symphonic Band, Philharmonic Orchestra, Jazz Band, the Boxer Rebellion pep band and others.
  • Travel with performance groups to locations such as Hawai‘i, New York, Washington, D.C., and Europe.
  • Career Preparation

    Music education courses are designed to prepare students for elementary or secondary teaching. Students may complete an undergraduate teaching degree through the College of Education concurrently, or, upon completion of undergraduate study, music education majors have the opportunity to enter Pacific’s highly-regarded Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in order to pursue initial licensure in Oregon.


    The range of music courses offered at Pacific University allows any student to participate in music education and performance, regardless of skill level. Classes focus on different music genres, histories and practices, and demonstrate connections between people, music and the world around us. Music education majors also take courses in music teaching pedagogy.

    Pacific University String Project

    The teachers in the String Project are college students who are interested in learning how to teach stringed instruments to younger students.  These "teachers-in-preparation" take pedagogy classes and meet regularly with master teachers, who supervise and advise their weekly classes and/or lessons. Student-teachers are actively involved in recruitment and communication with parents, and they help plan public performances each semester.

    More Information

    Fact Sheet