Music education at USC Aiken is an exciting program that serves those whose commitment is to teach music to others. It is based upon the simple premise that every person deserves the highest level of individual attention and guidance as they develop intellectual reasoning, musical aptitude, and aesthetic appreciation. The program is rigorous and requires disciplined and enthusiastic people who strive for academic, musical, and personal excellence.

Musicians are most likely to be successful as educators if they are able to model current practices in education. In addition, the successful music educator must have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to facilitate student learning in a diverse and dynamic environment. In order to facilitate individual growth and understanding as a future music educator, every student at USC Aiken is provided ample opportunities for musical success as participants in ensembles, master classes, and private musical study. Students are challenged in the class room to develop a breadth and knowledge of skills, high levels of perception and sensitivity, and values as it relates to music. The experiences and instruction provided are designed to prepare music educators in a variety of areas, including instrumental, choral, and elementary music. Ultimately, students are taught skills that will facilitate independent, knowledgeable, inspired artists and educators.

Music Education Options

Students can choose to specialize in either Choral or Instrumental music education.

Advisory Course Planner for Music Education - Choral

Advisory Course Planner for Music Education - Instrumental

Music Education Testing and School of Education Requirements

Admission Requirements

Students must present an SAT score of 800 or higher (Critical Reading and Mathematics sections) or a composite ACT score of 17 or higher in order to be considered for admission.

Submit Applications

Admission into the music education program is based upon academic, musical, and personal preparation. Students must first apply and be accepted into the University of South Carolina Aiken, then complete a separate application for the music education program.

Apply to USC Aiken

Apply for the Music Education program at USC Aiken

Program Requirements

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts – Major in Music Education degree must meet the following music requirements for successful completion of the degree. To see other applicable information, such as degree application, academic standing, and certification requirements for the School of Education, see the USC Aiken Bulletin.

Entrance Audition

Following application, all incoming students intending to major in music education are required to audition for the music faculty prior to the first semester of enrollment. These auditions occur throughout the academic year. Auditions are performed with a student's primary instrument of study and must meet minimal musical requirements.

Learn more about music auditions

Entrance Exams

At the beginning of each semester, incoming students are asked to take matriculation exams in the areas of music theory, music history, and piano. These simple entrance exams ensure proper placement and provide any necessary academic assistance within the music curriculum.

Music Assessments

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts – Music Education degree will have basic, skill-level appropriate assessments occur at the beginning of the first year of study and during the third year of study. Progress will be assessed in the areas of music theory, music history, music literature, and applied studies. Outcomes are Pass/Fail. Students not successfully completing third year assessment will not be allowed to continue in the music program until satisfactory progress can be demonstrated.

Attendance of Music Performances

Upon admission to the music education program, students are required to attend music performances for each semester they are enrolled. MUSC 100 – Recital Class is zero credit hours and Pass/Fail only. A minimum attendance of 75% of recitals, concerts, opera and musical theatre productions, as well as other performances approved by the music faculty are necessary for successful completion. Students enrolled in MUED 470 – Internship in Music Education are not required to participate.

See upcoming music performances

Solo Recital

Students must prepare at least one recital consisting of a minimum of thirty minutes of prepared solo music. The proposed recital requires a committee comprised of the music faculty and planned in cooperation with the applied instructor and academic advisor. This recital must be completed prior to enrollment in MUED 470 – Internship in Music Education.

Piano Proficiency

Students must pass a piano proficiency exam prior to enrollment in MUED 470 – Internship in Music Education. Upon admission to the music education program, students will be asked to take a short placement exam on piano prior to their first semester of study. According to piano background and result of the placement exam, students may be placed in one of the following courses:

  1. MUSC 133 – Piano I (applied lesson)
  2. MUSC 135 – Group Piano
  3. MUSC 136 – Intermediate Group Piano
  4. MUSC 137 – Group Piano for Music Education Majors

The purpose of the piano proficiency requirement is to ensure music education students acquire techniques and applications necessary for teaching in the class room.


The Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).