North Central College - Naperville, IL

Program and Degree Options

We offer the B.A. degree with majors in four areas:

Musicians love to share their music with others through teaching. Our music education major gives you a solid background in music, conducting and methods courses, along with student teaching experiences in some of the finest public school music programs in the country.

The Music Education major (choral emphasis) offers these benefits:

  • K-12 Illinois teacher certification in music
  • Equivalent of two years of practice teaching experience
  • Completed degree program in four years
  • Nearly 100 percent job placement for graduates over  10 years
  • Approximately 40 majors in music education (choral and instrumental)
  • Faculty with public school teaching experience, including those currently teaching in the schools

Music Education scholarships available upon interview with the coordinator of music education.
Program of study includes courses in music theory, aural skills, arranging and orchestration, conducting, music literature and history, lessons and ensembles, vocal pedagogy and techniques, and elementary, middle school, and high school methods.

Other requirements include:

  • instrumental techniques (choose one from woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion)
  • applied voice lessons every term except during student teaching
  • junior recital 
  • applied piano lessons until Comprehensive Musicianship Exam is passed (usually at the end of the junior year) 
  • participation in Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale, or Cardinal Chorus every term except during student teaching 
  • successful completion of Piano Proficiency and Comprehensive Musicianship Exams
  • successful completion of 11 terms of recital attendance (prorated for transfers)

A Secondary Education minor includes general middle/high school methods (50 clinical hours in schools); elementary music methods (40 clinical hours); and secondary music methods (40 clinical hours). Your student teaching requirement is completed in one term.

The Music Education major (instrumental emphasis) offers these benefits: 

  • K-12 Illinois teacher certification in music 
  • Equivalent of two years of practice teaching experience
  • Completed degree program in four years
  • Nearly 100 percent job placement for graduates over the past 10 years
  • Approximately 40 majors in music education (choral and instrumental)
  • Faculty with public school teaching experience, including those currently teaching in the schools
  • Music education scholarships available upon interview with coordinator of music education

Program of study includes courses in music theory, aural skills, arranging and orchestration, conducting, music literature and history, lessons and ensembles, woodwind, brass, string and percussion techniques, and elementary, middle school, and high school methods.

Other requirements include:

  • applied instrumental lessons every term except during student teaching
  • a junior recital
  • applied piano lessons until Piano Proficiency Exam is passed (usually at the end of the sophomore year) participation in Concert Winds every term except during student teaching
  • successful completion of Piano Proficiency and Comprehensive Musicianship Exams
  • completion of 11 terms of recital attendance (prorated for transfers)

A secondary education minor includes general middle/high school methods (50 clinical hours in schools); elementary music methods (40 clinical hours); and secondary music methods (40 clinical hours). Your student teaching requirement is completed in one term.

 Our Jazz Studies major prepares you for the real life of the performing jazz artist. 
The Jazz Studies major offers these benefits: 

  • Emphasis on solo and small group performance, and jazz improvisation
  • Completed degree program in four years
  • Faculty with international jazz performance and teaching experience, including Blujazz recording artist Janice Borla and Premonition recording artist John McLean
  • Performance scholarships available upon audition with jazz faculty
  • Program of study includes courses in music theory and aural skills, lessons and ensembles, jazz improvisation, jazz harmony and jazz history.    

Our music major allows you to focus on performance or a combination of music and another area, such as business, to meet your career goals.

The Music major offers these benefits:

  • Ability to customize your program of study to focus on your interests
  • Completed degree program in four years
  • Faculty with wide variety of expertise and experience to guide you in your career goals
  • Performance scholarships available upon audition with performance faculty

Program of study includes music theory and aural skills, lessons and ensembles, arranging and orchestration, conducting, and other courses related to your career interests.

Requirements include applied lessons on primary instrument or voice, every term; junior and senior recitals; private piano lessons until Piano Proficiency Exam is passed (usually at the end of the sophomore year); Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale, Cardinal Chorus, or Concert Winds every term; successful completion of 12 terms of recital attendance (prorated for transfers).

If you’re majoring in another academic area but have an interest in music, a minor in music may be completed with 18 credit hours. 

 Program of study includes a wide variety of music courses, participation in ensembles and lessons, and attendance at recitals. Independent study courses may be designed to meet your interests and needs. For elementary education majors, substitute nine credit hours at the 300-level as per State of Illinois requirements.

Ramona M. Wis; Mimi Rolland Professor in the Fine Arts; Professor of Music; Chairperson of Art, Music and Theatre

"At North Central College learning how to teach music is just as important as learning how to perform music. The skills you acquire and the experiences you have here prepare you to be a confident conductor and teacher, and help you to understand your art form so you grow into a complete professional."