Music Education


The Music Education program at Colorado State University is designed for prospective elementary and secondary school music teachers and is a gateway to employment and growth in musical excellence. Upon successful completion of the undergraduate degree, students become licensed to teach elementary, choral, band, and orchestra music to K-12 students.

With a focus on B.M. and M.M. programs, one of the many strengths of CSU’s Music Education area is the personal attention given to each student, paired with ongoing opportunities for all students to have early teaching experiences working directly with school-age students. Additionally, an emphasis on performance and outstanding musicianship is highlighted.

At the secondary level, students receive extensive training in how to design and implement programs centered around Comprehensive Musicianship and Reflective Practice, while at the elementary level, the training incorporates both Kodály and Dalcroze methodologies. The teacher licensure program is nationally accredited by NCATE and includes on-site work in schools and student teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Additionally, students work with youth on campus for arts-integrated experiences such as BRAINY (Bringing Arts Integration to Youth) and the Middle School Outreach Ensemble, featuring an innovative teacher training component.

Students are extremely active within the Music Education department, and lead their own organization (Collegiate National Association for Music Educators) which focuses on professional development, social mentoring, and community outreach. The CNAfME chapter has received a Chapter of Excellence Award from the Collegiate National Association for Music Educators.

The Music Education faculty works closely with the Teacher Licensure Office in the School of Education to place students in quality music classrooms throughout their degree in practicum placements and during their student teaching placement. In addition, students receive preparation to teach Early Childhood through Senior High in all areas: elementary, choral, and instrumental. The program consistently sees over 95% job placement rate upon graduation.

The Music Education progam is comprehensively structured to allow for continued study at the Master’s level, with enrollment tripling in the last three years. A program highlight includes side-by-side work with ensemble directors, allowing full-time Master’s students to assist in teaching coursework and directing ensembles.

The Music Education faculty is comprised of nationally and internationally-recognized educators, researchers, clinicians, adjudicators, and award-winning performers with a vested interest in the educational process of our students. There is a concerted effort on the part of all faculty to know our students on a professional and personal level, guiding their growth throughout the program.

On-campus training takes place in the state-of-the art University Center for the Arts, an exquisite teaching, performance, and exhibition venue for music, theatre, dance, and art.

Study With

Bonnie Jacobi

Coordinator of Music Education
Associate Professor of Music Education
Director of Colorado Kodály Institute

(970) 491-3106

Erik Johnson

Associate Professor of Music Education (Instrumental)

(970) 491-4806

Along with the knowledge of teaching they bring to the table, music education faculty at CSU also have the personal experiences that bring different strategies and methods to life; offering a perspective at a practical level. ~ Aleaha Harkins, Class of 2013

As the undergraduate program facilitator for the Middle School Outreach Ensemble, I have had the opportunity to learn about the joys and challenges of teaching music within a supportive environment of peers and music education faculty. The program gave me the opportunity to refine my leadership skills and work with others toward a collective goal. I now feel confident in my ability to make a positive impact when I enter the field as a full-time educator. ~ Charlie Mathews (CSU Music Education alum)

Integrated Research

At Colorado State University, faculty research and professional activity is relevantly integrated throughout coursework in both the undergraduate and graduate degree sequences. Examples from music education faculty:

Bonnie Jacobi’s passion for on-location historical research includes a recent discovery of the first formal Dalcroze instruction that took place within an American music curriculum (1913, Bryn Mawr College), resulting in two published articles in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. Additionally, topics such as musical gesture, space, literacy, and socioemotional learning in music augment her research on the role of music in higher education for nineteenth-century females.

Erik Johnson is passionate about research directly impacting public school teachers and students, including investigating the effect of peer-teaching and collaborative learning on music achievement, engagement, motivation, and student self-concept. Results provide exciting implications for how to diversify traditional instruction in an effort to construct successful music-learning environments. At home with both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, he continues to investigate and share the exciting ways that peer-teaching can enhance student learning.


Music Education Events

Try On Teaching with MSOE

January 17, 2018 - April 18, 2018 at 6:00 PM
We believe that the best way to train music teachers is to provide authentic teaching opportunities while engaging in a community of reflective practitioners. Additionally, we believe in creating a space for the discussion and application of many contemporary approaches relevant to music education while remaining informed by the excellent traditions that have made music education strong in America over the last two centuries. As community of passionate, well-prepared teachers, Trying-on-Teaching serves to grow the next generation of great music educators to serve students in our public schools.

Classical Convergence, Canadian Brass

January 19, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Hailed as the “Kings of Brass,” this quintet has performed in virtually every major concert hall in the world. Displaying a full stylistic range from Baroque to Dixieland and contemporary compositions, their virtuosity is served up with trademark audience-engaging light-hearted banter. “These are the men who put brass music on the map with their unbeatable [...]

Middle School Outreach Ensemble

January 31, 2018 - April 18, 2018 at 6:00 PM
The Middle School Outreach Ensembles @CSU provide an inspirational large ensemble experience in addition to the great instruction that students receive in their middle school band and orchestra programs.


February 3, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Music Audition Days

February 17, 2018 at 8:00 AM
Music Audition Days are for students wishing to pursue an undergraduate music major or minor degree at CSU. Auditions simultaneously function as admission consideration, as well as scholarship consideration, through the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Registration required: or contact

Music Audition Days

February 19, 2018 at 8:00 AM
Music Audition Days are for students wishing to pursue an undergraduate music major or minor degree at CSU. Auditions simultaneously function as admission consideration, as well as scholarship consideration, through the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Registration required: or contact

Music Audition Days

February 24, 2018 at 8:00 AM
Music Audition Days are for students wishing to pursue an undergraduate music major or minor degree at CSU. Auditions simultaneously function as admission consideration, as well as scholarship consideration, through the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Registration required: or contact

Classical Convergence, SHUFFLE

March 5, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Dubbed “independent-minded” by The New Yorker, PUBLIQuartet’s creative programming lends a fresh perspective to the Classical music scene. Founded in 2010 and dedicated to presenting new works for string quartet, PUBLIQuartet was selected as Concert Artists Guild’s New Music/New Places Ensemble at the Concert Artists Guild Competition, also winning their Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist [...]

Colorado All-Star Clarinet Choir

March 8, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Colorado All-Star Clarinet Choir

March 9, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Colorado All-Star Clarinet Choir

March 10, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Classical Convergence, Borromeo String Quartet

March 23, 2018 at 7:30 PM
With Special Guest Joel Bacon, Organ The Borromeo String Quartet is joined by Organ Professor Dr. Joel Bacon for an extraordinary concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Colorado State University’s renowned Casavant Organ. The visionary performances of the Borromeo String Quartet have established itself as one of the most important string quartets of our time. [...]

Classical Convergence, Anthony de Mare: Liaisons

April 17, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano Liaisons is a landmark commissioning and concert project, conceived by acclaimed concert pianist Anthony de Mare, based on the songs of legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim. The project has brought together 36 of the world’s foremost contemporary composers to "re-imagine" one of Sondheim’s songs as a solo piano piece. [...]

Music Education News

April 2016 Faculty Notes


Last fall, Assistant Professor of Music History K. Dawn Grapes had her annotated bibliography/research guide to “John Dowland” recently published online by Oxford University Press in Oxford Bibliographies. In her introduction, Dr. Grapes describes Dowland (b. 1563–d. 1623) as an internationally known English musician of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. As the most […]

A Night to Remember: Concert Orchestra with Concert Choir


By Madeline Bombardi, UCA Marketing Intern If you are moved by musical journeys, then join the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University for a night of Remembrance with the Concert Choir and Concert Orchestra’s performance of Anne Frank: A Living Voice by Linda Tutas Haugen and Paul Hindemith’s Trauermusik. The FREE […]

March 2016 Alumni Class Notes


Lisa Dameron, 2010, B.M. Music; 2011, M.M. Music: “Since I have graduated from CSU, I have taught in three different schools (and districts), varying from Kindergarten to 12th grade Music. I taught K-5 general music, 6-12 choir, drama, and a music exploration class in Bennett, Colo. After 1 ½ years, my husband and I moved […]