If you want to reach new personal goals in teaching the arts, a master’s degree in music education can take you there. The online Master of Music in music education program at Kent State is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and expertise needed to meet pedagogical objectives, as well as enhance their roles as music educators. In as few as 23 months, students can complete the 10-course, 31-required-credit-hour online master’s program. Beyond the general courses, all Kent State MMME students must complete a capstone project to earn their master’s degree.
Let’s take a closer look at what defines this important curriculum feature and how it benefits students. Plus, we’ll take a dive into the specifics of the Kent State Master of Music in music education capstone project and the role it plays in helping students prepare for the future.
What is a capstone project?
A capstone project is also known as a capstone experience. It’s designed to serve as a culminating educational and intellectual experience near the end of an academic program.
While similar to a thesis, the capstone project goes a step further than an essay — it’s more of a presentation of what was learned throughout the program. The capstone is designed to help students showcase how the academic program shaped them into stronger working professionals. Capstone projects are set up to help students think critically and solve problems in a specific area of study using oral communication, research skills, planning, self-sufficiency and more.
While capstone projects will vary by university and program, all will include conducting research based on the specific area of expertise, addressing issues and applying solutions through critical thinking and theoretical reasoning.
For their capstone, students of the online Master of Music in music education program work under the supervision and a capstone advisor to develop a curricular or related project related to the student’s area of interest in music education. Some of the format choices could be Literature Review, Research Study, or Curriculum Project.
Why is it beneficial for students?
A capstone course gives students the chance to apply everything they learned throughout the program to a real-world scenario. Specifically, independent research, reading and writing comes into play, providing the opportunity to link theory to practice.
It also teaches self-discipline. After graduating, students are expected to utilize all skills and knowledge gathered in the program to help advance their careers or personal goals, relying on themselves to take on new responsibilities. Essentially, the capstone project is one of the first steps outside of the educational comfort zone and into one’s next journey in the working world. A carefully designed curriculum ensures that a graduate of a Master’s degree is now considered a true teaching professional due to a prolonged study into deep issues of music teaching and learning.
What is the Kent State MMME capstone project?
Worth four credits, the capstone project may be considered one of the most critical components of the Master of Music in music education program. For this project, students will work under a capstone advisor to demonstrate their skills and knowledge learned throughout the program. Each student will select a topic of interest extracted from their previous coursework and perform research to identify an educational issue and solution to showcase how the master’s program shaped his or her ability to successfully do so. Through reading, writing, creating, and designing students will become familiar with a topic of interest with the intention of becoming an expert in the area — while also proving this to the capstone advisor.
Specifically, the online Master of Music in music education program capstone allows students to apply performance pedagogy, philosophical foundations, methodology, assessment, history, theory, multicultural music and technology right before graduating. It’s essentially a launching pad for their continuing role in music education.
How can the KSU MMME capstone prepare you for your career?
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career as a music educator, the online Master of Music in music education program at Kent State is essential. The combination of thorough coursework and the capstone class can enable you to learn about new trends in teaching music and how to apply them in your next professional role. By the end of the capstone course, you’ll be prepared to:
- Connect with your students and individualize the learning experience
- Identify issues in curricula and improve planning, instruction and assessments
- Develop results to present to administrators
- Use technology in the classroom without hesitation
- Drive change in students who are passionate about music
- Build skills in advocacy and leadership
- Use theory and research to develop better learning outcomes for students
By pursuing the Kent State online Master of Music in music education program, you can prepare yourself for a career change while gaining new skills and expertise in an engaging online learning environment. Are you interested in enrolling in the online program? Visit musicedmasters.kent.edu or call 1-888-989-7072 to speak with an enrollment advisor today.