Music Education

Contact Us

Matthew Garrett
Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies, Music Education (BS)

Lisa Huisman Koops 
Head of Music Education
Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Music Education

Full Time Faculty

Christopher Clark
Director of Choirs

Matthew Garrett
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Music Education

Benjamin Helton
Assistant Professor
Director of Spartan Marching Band

Kathleen Horvath
Director of Orchestras

Lisa Huisman Koops
Head of Music Education
Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Music Education

​​​​​​​Nathan Kruse
Associate Professor

Ryan Scherber
Assistant Professor
Director of Bands

Research Areas
  • Adult Learning
  • Arts Education Policy
  • Assessment
  • Community Music
  • Culturally Relevant Music Pedagogy
  • Early Childhood Music
  • Inclusive Vocal Pedagogy
  • LGBTQ Studies in Music Education
  • Music Cognition
  • Musical Engagement
  • Musical Leadership
  • Musical Parenting
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Pitch Perception
  • Preventing Performance Injury 
  • Rural Communities
  • Science of Teaching and Learning
  • Teacher Education
  • Teaching Musculoskeletal Skills
  • Trans and Gender-Expansive Students in Music Education
  • Vernacular Music 

The framework for the Music Education program at Case Western Reserve University includes intimate class size, faculty mentoring, practical experience, and active participation in teaching. Our faculty thoughtfully guide students through the undergraduate and graduate degree programs to become proactive scholar-practitioners and leaders in the field.

Alumni Profiles

Music Education Alumni and their Current Endeavors

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate music education majors pursue a fully accredited curriculum that develops musical knowledge through a sequential program of instruction, critical thinking, and practical teaching experiences. Students develop skills, concepts, and methodologies in music theory, composition, general musicianship, music history, arranging/orchestrating, improvising, conducting, and music performance. This intensive four-year degree leading to teacher licensure prepares students to become professional music educators. Full and partial scholarship available for incoming undergraduate music education students.

Undergraduate program highlights include:

  • Music education faculty with specialties in all areas of music education (choral, general, instrumental) who support teacher preparation 
  • An emphasis on experiential learning that is based on current research and best practices
  • Active participation in music teaching beginning in the introductory courses with fieldwork continuing throughout the degree program
  • Opportunities to perform with outstanding ensembles (orchestra, band, choral, early music, jazz)
  • Experiencing a variety of liberal arts subjects (humanities, literature, history, social sciences, foreign language) and conservatory instruction (performance, music theory) by participating in our Joint Music Program with the Cleveland Institute of Music
  • An active chapter of NAfME Collegiate, a student-led organization dedicated to professional development
  • Advanced technology,  and a dedicated music education resource center
  • Earning a music education degree from a program approved by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

Graduate Study

Opportunities for graduate study in Music Education include the MA (for students with an undergraduate degree in music education), the MA with Licensure (for students with an undergraduate degree who are seeking a teaching license in conjunction with graduate study), and the PhD (for students seeking leadership positions in colleges, universities, and K-12 schools).

The Music Education program has significant funding for tuition waivers and graduate assistantships. Graduate assistants support many areas of the program, including ensembles (bands, choirs, orchestras), initiatives in research and music technology, and undergraduate music education courses. 

Graduate program highlights include:

  • Practical experience gained by working alongside faculty who are internationally recognized as teachers, conductors, researchers, and authors
  • A commitment to scholarly and creative excellence
  • A supportive and collegial community of scholars
  • Leadership opportunities with outstanding ensembles (orchestra, band, choral, jazz)
  • An integrated music program with the Cleveland Institute of Music that allows students to take advantage of the resources of a major research university in the context of a liberal arts education as well as those of a leading conservatory
  • Excellent music library with easy access to resources throughout the world
  • Advanced technology and a dedicated music education resource center
  • Earning a music education degree from a program approved by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

Ensembles and Performance Opportunities

The Music Education program is fortunate to house and oversee ensembles in the three primary performance areas within the Department of Music: orchestras, bands, and choirs. The Music Education faculty strongly believe in connecting pedagogy with practice by facilitating and demonstrating quality experiences for our students. Additionally, our shared philosophy of supporting and encouraging lifelong music-making is key to our ensembles as many groups include members across campus.

Visit the Ensembles page for general information and a full list of Ensemble offerings.

Photo of Marching Band
Symphonic Winds Silver Hall (MPAC) concert stage