Certificate in Teaching World Music

The University of St. Thomas offers high‐quality continuing education opportunities for music educators who wish to teach world music in the schools. These experiences will give you new ideas that will support and revitalize teaching. These experiences may count toward the Certificate in Teaching World Music or the existing Master of Arts in Music Education degree.


The Certificate in Teaching World Music is a program designed for professional teachers and those wishing to enter the profession who would like to formally pursue studies in world music pedagogy, but who do not wish to attain a graduate degree. Certificate students will receive academic credit through the Graduate Programs in Music Education as both degree and nondegree students.

Those who wish to work toward the certificate may do so regardless of academic background or teaching experience; however it is assumed that students will have sufficient background in musical study (at least an undergraduate degree in music) and preferably some teaching experience. An application, interview, and (when appropriate) academic transcripts will determine eligibility for the certificate. 

Coursework includes:

  • Four required courses (9 credits).
  • Elective courses selected in consultation with the Director of Graduate Programs in Music Education (6 credits).
  • Teaching World Music Capstone (3 credits).

Students must be enrolled as nondegree or graduate students in order to have courses apply toward the certificate.

African Music Ensemble (GMUS 671), 2 cr.
Study of traditional African music (Ghanaian culture) through music performance. Performance of chants, songs, music for social and festive occasions, and other vocal and instrumental examples selected from a variety of styles. All instruments provided, except flute and CD's which can be purchased in class.

Latin American Music (GMUS 537), 1 cr.
Participants will be guided through musical experiences that cover selected musical cultures and genres from throughout Latin America including Puerto Rican plena, Mexican son jarocho, Dominican merengue, and Brazilian samba. This hands-on workshop is appropriate for vocal and instrumental educators who teach at the elementary, middle, or high school level.

Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy (GMUS 536), 3 cr.
Audio, video, print, electronic, and human resources will be sampled in this intensive course, with the aim of learning as well as developing an understanding of ways to teach music of the world's cultures. Attention will be given to learning culture through songs, movement and dance experiences, instrumental music, and contextualized cultural components. Participants will be guided through recordings and curricular materials from the Smithsonian Folkways archives that fit the needs of students in knowing music (and knowing culture through music). Musical experiences will be tailored for use at various levels, including in classes for children, youth, and adults in university and community settings, with occasional small group sessions to decipher and discuss applications for particular teaching contexts and aims. Enrolled participants will join together to share particular means of teaching world music, and will receive documentation from the Smithsonian Institution that certifies their specialized study in World Music Pedagogy.

Teaching and Learning (GMUS 601), 3 cr.
Comprehensive overview of learning theories, instructional theories, and implications for the teaching of music to children in grades K-12. Applications of principles and concepts inherent in these theories to the teaching and learning of music.

Teaching World Music Capstone (GMUS 538), 3 cr.
Students will work closely with a faculty mentor on developing a final capstone project (e.g. a detailed lesson plan or curriculm). This project will involve substantial individualized reading, writing, and research.

Elective Courses, 6 cr.
Elective courses are to be selected in consultation with the Director of Graduate Programs in Music Education based upon the needs of the student.

The Graduate Programs in Music Education offer a variety of courses each year to support the needs of music educators. For this certificate, the following list of electives may be considered:

Curriculum Development in Music Education (GMUS 841), 3 cr.
Dalcroze Musicianship (GMUS 651), 3 cr.
Guitar Studies (GMUS 591), 1 cr.
Kodály Level I (GMUS 741), 3 cr.
Orff Schulwerk Level I (GMUS 733), 3 cr.
Perspectives in Music Theory (GMUS 611), 3 cr.
Piano Studies (GMUS 570), 1 cr.
Voice Studies (GMUS 574), 1 cr. 
Other Instrument Studies (GMUS 5xx), 1 cr.  

Additional courses with consent of Program Director.