The instruction and experiences offered in the program prepare its graduates to teach choral, instrumental, and classroom general music at the elementary and secondary levels. The BME degree leads to Nebraska teacher certification in Music K-12 (holding a Nebraska certificate also allows easier access to teacher certification in other states). Other learning outcomes include teaching with engaging classroom activities and sound rehearsal techniques, demonstrating skill in performing, improvising, and sight-reading music at an advanced level on their major instrument or voice and understanding the role of music in the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of children and adolescents. Students will also gain an understanding and an appreciation for a variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, popular, and music from cultures around the world, and will acquire effective teacher characteristics in terms of rapport with students, verbal instruction, and nonverbal communication. Students will be able to detect errors in musical performance and devise effective strategies to correct them, while also building a repertoire of classroom management techniques to use in any music teaching situation.
The curriculum of the BME provides students some valuable and unique experiences. It includes a thorough practicum component, which places students in Lincoln area schools to practice their teaching under the supervision of accomplished music teachers. The BME students have practicum experiences during four semesters, all before their full-time student teaching semester (usually their last before graduation). Especially unique to UNL's BME program is the inclusion of a Music Composition Methods course (joining the traditional methods courses in choral, instrumental, and general music). In this innovative course, UNL students learn how to engage children and adolescents in creating their own music.
- Dr. Dale Bazan, specializing in instrumental music education, band rehearsal strategies, jazz and popular music education, and creativity.
- Dr. Rhonda Fuelberth, specializing in choral music education, music and special populations, and developing artistry through singing.
- Dr. Brian Moore, specializing in music technology, music composition education, and string/orchestra instruction.
- Dr. Robert Woody, specializing in general music education, the psychology of music learning, and the development of vernacular musicianship.
All music education faculty members are active presenters at conferences held by national and international music education organizations, such as the National Association for Music Education and the International Society for Music Education. Faculty research and writings have been published in the profession's most prestigious and widely distributed journals.