Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Master of Music in music education (autism concentration) is the first program of its kind. Designed for music educators who wish to gain specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in teaching music to students with autism, this program features innovative training, cutting-edge research activities, and a community of educators and scholars committed to providing quality music education to all students.
Students will be guided in their studies by leaders in the field who are committed to including all people in musical and learning experiences. Additionally, many faculty members hold prominent positions in state and national music education organizations and are dedicated to helping students become the best musicians and music educators they can be.
Boston Conservatory is a leader in the field of music education for students with autism. In addition to being the first conservatory to offer specialized educator training programs in this area, it was also the first to launch a series of arts education programs for community members on the autism spectrum and with other special needs. Through teaching in these programs, graduate students in the Music Education Department gain valuable hands-on experience.
Designed to accommodate a working teacher’s schedule, the program offers evening courses in the fall and spring semesters, as well as two full-time summer sessions. Academic year course work can be completed remotely using web conferencing and student-directed study formats.
Note: This is a non-licensure program.
What It Takes to Succeed
Students in the Master of Music in music education (autism concentration) program understand that the population of individuals with autism spectrum disorders continues to grow at a rapid pace. They believe today’s music educators must be prepared to teach all students effectively and are passionate about creating musical experiences for students on the autism spectrum and their families and friends. Additionally, they are organized in their efforts to stay ahead of their demanding schedules and enjoy collaborating with colleagues to generate and reach shared goals.
The highlight of the Master of Music in music education (autism concentration) is the specialized curriculum in special needs and autism, which includes courses such as Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs with distinguished guest artist Alice Hammel, Special Needs and the Gifted Child, Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Practicum in Music Education and Autism, and Autism, Music, and Behavioral Teaching Methods, among others.
The program’s schedule includes four semesters of coursework: Summer Session I, fall semester, spring semester, and Summer Session II. This is designed to accommodate music educators who may be on a K-12 teaching schedule by offering evening courses in the fall and spring semesters and two full-time summer sessions.
During the fall and spring semesters, students have the unique opportunity to create a meaningful bridge between their graduate studies and their teaching practice. The academic year courses consist of directed-study projects in which students apply what they are learning to the classroom, with guidance from a faculty member. These projects include curriculum development and implementation, the design and execution of instructional strategies, and the recording and analysis of teaching approaches. The culminating experience of the program provides students with the opportunity to conduct and report original research in a master’s thesis or to create original educational materials in a range of formats.
This program does not offer initial licensure.
Graduates of the program will be prepared for music teaching positions at public and private schools (including those for individuals with special needs), private teaching studios, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals, in a wide range of educational settings, such as integrated classrooms, sub-separate classrooms, and one-on-one private lessons or tutoring.