• Production still from SERSE
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra
  • Jazz Band on stage

Music Education

The California State University Northridge Music Education program is one of the largest in the state and has a long history of training excellent teachers of music. Many of the finest public and private school music teachers in California claim CSU Northridge as their alma mater. Located in the ethnically diverse San Fernando Valley, the university is just 20 minutes from the center of the television, film and recording industry.

The undergraduate music education program is designed to prepare students with the skills and knowledge to successfully teach music in K-12 schools. Students receive a BA degree with an emphasis in music education. Completion of this curriculum satisfies the pre-professional academic requirements for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music. The Music Department’s program is fully approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Students must fill out an audition application and perform an audition. Based on the results of that audition, and the student’s GPA, a select number of students will go through an interview by phone, Skype or face-to-face. After the interview, decisions will be made on admittance.  The curriculum provides a broad based comprehensive approach to the teaching of music through experiences in aural skills; theory; improvisation; technology; conducting and arranging; history; world music; choral, general and instrumental methods; observation and field experiences; small and large ensembles and private lessons. Music education students study with the same teachers and perform with the same ensembles as the performance majors.

CSU Northridge Music Department maintains a close relationship with area schools allowing students many early opportunities to observe and experience teaching prior to student teaching. These schools, as well, provide diverse urban and suburban settings with outstanding mentor teachers for student teacher placements during the credential program. 

The Credential Program is a fifth year of study that follows the BA degree. This program, that includes two semesters of student teaching, must be completed to receive a California teaching credential that is required in order to teach in California Public Schools. Music education graduates who complete the credential program are in high demand for music teaching positions in Southern California and throughout the state.

Music Education students are encouraged to join NAfME, the National Association for Music Education through their Collegiate Chapter on the CSU Northridge campus. Local, state and national membership enables students to attend conferences, professional development events and provides them with an active connection to the profession both at the university and beyond.