Ithaca's commitment to hands-on, field-based learning means you will observe classes in your freshman and sophomore years and teach classes in your junior year -- earlier than in most undergraduate programs. Two years of foundational study -- teaching techniques and educational psychology, for example -- prepares you for the classroom. Then, to help refine your teaching skills, a teaching professional and mentor will provide you with one-to-one advice. You will gain additional professional experience and feedback in your senior year as a student teacher in a local public school.
Although the program is designed for focused work in vocal and instrumental music education, it fulfills the academic requirements for a birth-through-12th-grade New York State teaching certification for all areas of music. Through reciprocity agreements, the program also fulfills basic academic requirements necessary for certification in most other states.
Still not convinced this is one of the finest music education programs in the country? On a consistent basis, one hundred percent of our graduates who actively seek a teaching position find one, and they also have a strong record of being accepted into major graduate programs.
At Ithaca you'll discover that your professors and your fellow students are devoted to improving their own and each other's musicianship.
When you need advice or additional help or just feel like chatting, faculty doors are always open. They might encourage you to attend a particular concert, meet a visiting artist, consider a different interpretation of a piece you're performing, or enter a competition. Your professors will make sure you have a student-teaching assignment that's right for you or coach you through the graduate school application process.
Whatever the specifics, our faculty take an interest in you as an individual and personalize your instruction at every level. A student-faculty ratio of 8:1 and an emphasis on undergraduate education are key features of our approach to teaching and learning.
As for your peers, one student put it this way: "The students here are teachers, too; we all inspire each other." Indeed, our students are known for their commitment to helping each other improve. At Ithaca, the most intense competitor you will face is the one who looks back at you from the mirror.