M.A. with K-12 Initial New York State Certification | Teachers College Columbia University

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Music and Music Education

Music & Music Education

In the Department of Arts & Humanities

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Master of Arts leading toward PreK-12 Initial New York State Certification (40 points)


The M.A. degree with Teacher Certification is a program designed for students with an undergraduate degree in music who wish to prepare for teaching music in the public schools.

Curriculum Guide

The 40‑point degree program leads to both the M.A. degree and New York State Teacher of Music, PreK‑12 Certification. Students admitted to the program should seek guidance from the initial certification advisor at their first registration. All requirements for certification can be completed in this M.A. program if the candidate is identified at the first registration. Students in this M.A. program take coursework followed by two semesters of carefully guided student teaching in schools that reflects the Music Program’s philosophy of authentic and relevant musical pedagogy. Please see the Office of Teacher Education Website for additional specific certification requirements and exams for program completion and graduation.

In order to graduate, students must complete the necessary coursework, student teaching, and the summative project (electronic portfolio); they must also demonstrate competent musicianship in a musical performance.

State Certification

All of the following:

One Special Education Course in consultation with advisor*

  • Course work in arts for children with disabilities, 3 points
  • C&T 4001 Differentiating Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms, 3 points
  • HBSE 4000 Introduction to Special Education, 3 points 

Pedagogy (6 points)


  • A&HM 4033 Approaches to Teaching Musical Instruments, 2 points*
  • A&HM 4023 Choral Pedagogy, 2 points*

In consultation with advisor one of the following:

  • A&HM 4050 Strategies for Ensemble Rehearsal, 2 points*
  • A&HM 5023 Vocal Pedagogy (or secondary applied lessons or secondary piano), 2 points*
  • A&HM 5021 Instrumental Experiences with Children 2 points*

Music Performance (4 points)

At least 2 courses of the following:

  • Instrumental/Voice Applied Lessons, 2 points
  • Secondary Instrument Applied Lessons, 2 points

Performance Requirement 

Participation in a musical performance is required as part of the Musical Teachers of Tomorrow concert, given each Spring*

Courses marked with * must be completed prior to student teaching


Both of the following courses:

  • A&HM 4701 Student Teaching – Elementary, 3 points
  • A&HM 4711 Student Teaching – Secondary, 3 points

Out of Program Courses

In consultation with your advisor, select two courses (in addition to the Special Education course) for a minimum of 2 points each from the following programs or departments: Curriculum and Teaching, Developmental Psychology, Human Development, and Sociology and Education. A&H 4003, 5001, and 5002 can count as music electives but cannot be used to fulfill the College’s Breadth requirement.

Portfolio Requirements for Initial Certification

Each student will create a professional electronic portfolio, completed in the final semester of student teaching. The electronic portfolio is expected to include artifacts and reflections from the duration of study. The Director of Initial Certification in Music and Music Education will provide all necessary details.