Teaching Artistry and Music Education

Recognizing that a robust teaching artist practice is an essential part of a 21st-century musician’s career, this concentration prepares NEC students for the field of teaching artistry and music education as an essential complement to their performance studies. Deeply rooted in real world learning opportunities and community partnership, this integrated understanding of music education will prepare NEC students to become the kind of adaptable teaching artists needed by contemporary society; artists who possess the necessary tools to impact music learning within their communities as they contribute to the public good.

The Teaching Artistry and Music Education Concentration, available to NEC undergraduate and graduate students, comprises four elements of study, including five credits of study and also non-credit bearing experiential learning requirements. These elements are listed below:

  • Coursework (4 credits, including a 2 credit foundational course)
  • Experiential Learning (2 opportunities, non-credit bearing)
  • Professional Development Workshops (2 opportunities, non-credit bearing)
  • Self-Directed Capstone Project (1 credit)

The concentration takes a menu approach, allowing the student to choose specific offerings to satisfy the credits within each element. Upon declaring the concentration, students will meet with a member of CEPS staff to assist in designing their proposed course of study, including selection of courses, fellowship planning, and initial ideas for a capstone project. Continued advising with CEPS staff on progress through the concentration will be available on an as needed basis. Students will also work with CEPS staff to select a faculty or staff advisor to work with on their capstone project. They will meet for a minimum total of 7 hours with their advisor during their self-directed project semester (the penultimate or last semester of their degree program at NEC), as well as participate in a series of meetings with the cohort of other students working on capstone projects.

Undergraduate students must declare their concentration no later than registration for the first semester of their third year; graduate students must declare no later than registration for the first semester of their second year (either MM or DMA). Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (UG) and 3.0 (G) (satisfactory academic progress) and a GPA of 3.33 in the concentration at the undergraduate level.

How to Apply

Declaring the concentration requires the submission of a formal application. This can be completed online or as a paper copy, which can be picked up at the Community Performances and Partnerships Office (SB 200). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, but priority is given to those submitted before the fall and spring priority deadlines: 

Fall Priority Deadline: September 17th, 2023

Spring Priority Deadline: March 25th, 2024

Following receipt of your application, you will be contacted to schedule an informal interview with CEPS staff.

Apply for the Concentration

A teaching artist is a practicing artist who develops the complementary skills, curiosities and habits of mind of an educator, who can effectively engage a wide range of participants in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.
Eric BoothNEC Honorary Doctorate, 2012
Frequently Asked Questions


Does the Teaching Artist Concentration qualify for certification?

The Teaching Artistry and Music Education Concentration is not a teacher certification program. However, students may be able to use some course credits towards meeting state or professional licensure. Further general information about state certification is available through the Community Engagement and Professional Studies Department.

Can I complete the Teaching Artist Concentration over multiple degrees?

Students starting the concentration during their undergraduate degree must finish it during that degree and cannot carry it over to graduate work at NEC. Graduate students who declare the concentration during their MM degree at NEC may rollover progress on the concentration and complete it in either a subsequent GD or DMA degree. This must be done in consultation with CEPS staff and will require prior approval. 

Will courses I have already taken at NEC count towards completion of the concentration?

Courses taken between 2021 and 2023 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis towards counting for credit to the concentration. Courses must be on the list of concentration coursework or belong to previous Music in Education coursework. Please discuss with CEPS staff if this applies to you when applying for the concentration.

Will previous fellowships or internships I have completed at NEC count towards completion of the concentration?

Only fellowships and internships completed during the 22-23 academic year will be considered for credit towards completing the concentration. 

What will this concentration enable me to do?

This concentration is designed to build practical experience and skills for a variety of different types of teaching work including private lesson studios, classroom co-teaching, sectionals, work with adults, creative aging, and much more. This concentration will give you the basic skills you need to be successful in all kinds of teaching as well as opportunities to dive deeper into particular areas of interest. All the experiences are rooted in giving you real world experience that can be put on your resume and lead to future employment!

Will this show up on my transcript?

Yes! This concentration, including its coursework and capstone project will be listed on your transcript. Workshops and experiential learning opportunities will be represented by completion of the concentration. This can also be listed on your resume and cover letters for job applications!

Program Directors


Tanya Maggi

Tanya Maggi
Dean and Chair of Community Engagement and Professional Studies

Erik Elmgren

Erik Elmgren
Assistant Dean of Community Engagement and Teaching Artistry