Skip to content
Student Heather Walkover teaching students about the cello at a grade school program
  • Print
return to Degrees & Programs


Music Education Department
Dr. Ruth Brittin
Music Education Program Director
Conservatory of Music
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

B.M. Music Education

At the University of the Pacific, majors in the music education program have many opportunities to combine their studies with teaching in the "real world." In the junior year, students take "junior block", where the elementary and secondary methods courses are combined with intensive fieldwork in public schools. While pursuing a bachelor's degree in music education, majors have opportunities to teach in elementary, middle, and high school music programs up to 50 hours per semester. They even get elementary music classes of their own to teach for an entire semester! They observe and assist experienced music teachers in the field, in both suburban and urban settings. Our music education bachelor's degree majors work intensively in the field while studying the best educational methods and techniques, and so they have many chances to try out new teaching approaches for themselves. This is where students begin to decide which level and which type of setting they might like to work in upon graduation. They develop a wide range of skills, a wealth of resources, and a great deal of confidence through this experience.

Throughout the junior and senior years, music education majors participate in a weekly course called "lab ensemble" that meets each Friday morning. Students rotate through band, choral, and orchestra settings, playing secondary instruments and taking turns conducting each other. Students develop their own lessons and rehearsals, teach the class, and videotape themselves for self-critique. During this time, guest ensembles from local schools come to campus to sing or play with us. This gives majors in the music education program opportunities to work with students from a variety of schools. The students sight-read and rehearse with our guests, and they also give master classes. During the fall semester, the music education majors plan and carry out the annual Children's Choral Festival, where several hundred elementary and middle school choral students come to Pacific for a morning of making music together. For this event, the music ed majors arrange instrumental accompaniments for the selected choral pieces, rehearse them, and then play with our guests during the festival. Choirs from across Northern California participate in this event, and we enjoy having them on campus.

Majors in the music education bachelor's degree program have three options for the student teaching portion of their credential. At University of the Pacific, student teaching is called "Directed Teaching." Students may pursue traditional student teaching, working full-time under the direction of credentialed host music teachers in the public schools for an entire semester. A second option is to do traditional student teaching part-time for an entire semester, while completing one or two courses for the degree. Student teachers are not paid in either of these directed teaching options. A third option is called the "internship." Students take an early summer course called "Video Microrehearsal Techniques," in which they teach in public school settings, study particular teaching methods, and intensively critique their work for improvement of their skills. Students then teach full-time for a year in a paid position, with supervision from Dr. Brittin and a site-support team from their school district. During this internship, they participate in regular seminars with the other interns, Dr. Brittin, and other music education college faculty. Interns may teach in any public school music program within a 90-minute drive of Stockton. Currently we have interns placed in districts in the Bay Area, Sacramento area, and Central Valley. Internships in music education have been a feature of Pacific's credential program for more than 30 years and are tremendously well-respected throughout Northern California. All of our Directed Teaching options lead to the Preliminary Teaching Credential, and all may be tied to course requirements for the Clear Credential. In certain cases, undergraduates may also tie their Directed Teaching work to a master's degree in music education.