UBC School of Music students performing at the Bachelor of Education Student Orientation at the Chan Centre
Teaching music in secondary schools is one of the most exciting and rewarding careers in education. Music education makes an essential and unique contribution to students’ lifelong intellectual, physical, and emotional development. Students in music classes acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to be involved in music as a lifelong interest or to pursue careers in music and related fields. They acquire important insights into culture and history. Many secondary school students and graduates say that their times of learning and performing music in school choirs, bands, orchestras, guitar ensembles, and other music classes have been some of the best times of their lives. It’s great to be a music teacher and to have such an important impact on secondary school students.
Frequently Asked Questions
Teacher candidates in Music Education progress through the 12-month (September to August) Teacher Education program in a cohort group. You complete specialized courses together, and your cohort stays together for other courses as well. You have the dedicated support of instructors and advisors who have extensive experience as musicians and music educators. A truly noteworthy aspect of the program is the fact that past UBC Music Education graduates typically stay in touch with the members of their cohort group, their instructors, and their advisors as professional associates (and friends) throughout their music teaching careers.
Our teacher candidates complete their 2-week and 10-week "practice teaching" practica with respected teachers who lead strong music programs in secondary schools throughout the greater Vancouver area. We do our best to place you in a school that is a good fit with your musical strengths and is convenient for you to reach.
Unlike many students who hold only a BMus degree or even a MMus degree, over 95% of those who complete the UBC BEd program specializing in Music Education are hired upon graduating. Some take teaching positions in public schools outside the greater Vancouver area, some teach in private schools, and others choose to work as teachers-on-call (TOCs) in Vancouver and nearby districts to earn seniority toward full–time positions in those districts. (The fewer-than-5% of those who are not hired upon graduating have usually chosen to travel or pursue other interests for a year or two before taking their first music teaching position.)
We’re glad to accept musicians who hold a master’s degree into the BEd program. While school districts are most accustomed to hiring recent graduates who hold BMus and BEd degrees, some actually prefer to hire new teachers who already have a master’s degree as well.
The UBC BEd degree in Music Education-Secondary is highly regarded throughout Canada and around the world. Past graduates are now teaching music in BC and other Canadian provinces, in the US (New York, California, Connecticut), and in the UK and various parts of Asia.
Download the self-assessment academic requirements worksheet for the BEd program in Music Education.
The answer is yes! In either Year 2 or Year 3 of your Bachelor of Music program, you can apply to the Bachelor of Education (Secondary – Music Education) program and begin your education studies earlier. For more details: